I've been in a Bible study led by Kristi McClelland for the past 7 weeks on Jesus and women, in the first century and now. My mind has been blown more times than I can count. Reading the Bible in the context in which it was written is life-changing. One lesson—and one passage—has really resonated with me in particular. And when my pastor Robby Gallaty preached on the same message this Sunday, I knew I had to share with y'all.
I've read and heard this verse many times, but I never knew the true meaning until about a month ago. I always pictured this as God offering protection and shelter under His wings like momma bird to its baby. It's a beautiful picture, but it's not the full picture.
Malachi is the final book of the Old Testament. This is one of the last things God says to the prophets before the 400-year intertestamental period.
400 years before Jesus comes on the scene, and God says "the sun of righteousness"—the Messiah—will have healing in its wing.
To understand what this means, we have to look to the original Hebrew translation. When Jesus spoke, He made sure He could be understood by everyone. Understanding the culture helps us understand the meaning. Well, rabbis in the first century (and many today) wore a prayer shawl called a "tallit." The shawl has tassels on its ends. The corner and end of the tallit is known as "kanaph." Guess what "kanaph" is translated as? That's right: wing.
Jesus, a rabbi, wore a tallit, which had a kanaph. And God told His people 400 years before He sent His son to earth that the Messiah would have healing in its wing. But God doesn't leave the story there.
The first chapter of the New Testament (right after Malachi) is Matthew. Look at Matthew 9. A woman who has been suffering from bleeding for 12 years, isolated and cast out, approaches Jesus as He walks through town. She reaches out to His WING and is immediately healed.
This woman knew her Bible. She loved the Lord, and she reached out to Jesus. When I learned the truth of this story, I cried. I cried because it's not just a Biblical story -- it's a story that still happens today. This is my story. God healed me from anxiety, an eating disorder, depression, guilt, shame. Because He is my helper, I rejoice in the shadow of His wing. (Psalm 63:7)
He saved me like He saved the bleeding woman, and He offers that grace and mercy to every single one of you.