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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Fringe Benefits

Today’s Verse:

And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole. ~Matthew 14:36


The phrase “fringe benefits” describes additional benefits for working for a corporation. It was coined out of concern that a prospective employee was only focused on his salary and was overlooking the additional benefits (health and group life insurance, disability, retirement, paid time off, etc.) that the company offered. The word fringe means “the border,” “the edge,” or “the hem.” We see a very interesting thought: touching the hem of the garment. Some people thought, “If I could just touch the hem or fringe of His garment, I could be made well.”

We see the perishing.

Jesus arrived in the fertile land of Gennesaret. This was a popular area, similar to our idea of a favorite park. Word spread quickly that Jesus came to that side of the lake. People in that area who had family or friends who were diseased saw this as an opportunity of getting their loved ones to Him. A diseased person was someone inflicted, declining in health, pining, and perishing. He health condition was beyond the capability of the medical profession. He was perishing and needed help. The mission of the church and every Christian is to get Jesus to an area where those who are “diseased with sin” can be brought to Him.

We see the prayers.

The men of that country had knowledge of Him, sent out word that Jesus was among them, brought all that were diseased, and besought Him that they could bring their diseased ones to Him. The word besought means to pray. The greatest thing we must do after we have worked and invited is to pray. First, we must pray individually. Second, we must pray specifically. Third, we must pray fervently. Anything we do for God that is not thoroughly prayed over is a project that will be absent of His blessing. The men of this area begged Jesus to come.

We see the persuasion.

“…And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment.” These men had faith in the power of Christ. They besought Jesus that their diseased loved ones could just touch the hem, or fringe, of His outer garment. They had faith that just touching the outer fringe would heal the diseased one. The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. When we come to Him, we “must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” In faith, they besought Him that they might ONLY touch the hem. That is powerful faith. They heard enough about Jesus to be convinced that just the touch of His garment would completely heal. Perhaps we need to think about how weak our faith is at times. It is sad that we barely touch the hem of His garment, which is why our prayers go unanswered.

We see the performance.

“And as many as touched were made perfectly whole.” Jesus completely healed those who touched the hem of His garment. I imagine that there were throngs assembled around him with everyone looking to touch the hem. The only limitation here was of those who did not touch the hem of His garment. Jesus did that which was exceeding abundant, above all that we ask or think. Can you imagine the incredible power demonstrated on that day? Perhaps hundreds who were diseased were made whole because they had faith that Jesus’ power could change their life: only by touching the hem of His garment. Let’s take advantage of the fringe benefit of touching the power of our Lord for our life and service for Him.

Have a faith-inspired God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 9-11

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