“A leper comes to him, begging on his knees, ‘If you want to, you can cleanse me.’ Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I want to. Be clean.’ Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy.” (Mark 1:40-41, The Message)
Jesus was a master, an expert at communicating love-words and love-in-action. His very divine nature is love (1 John 4:8, 16). He showed his love with the little children, blessed and hugged them. He called His disciples; teaches and loves them. But that was not unusual, what amazing about Jesus was that he showed his sensitivity to touch someone like a leper man in the story above was beyond amazing.
|Modern man with leprosy|
Adam Clarke (in my E-Sword software) comments that leprosy “was an inveterate cutaneous disease, appearing in dry, thin, white scurfy scales or scabs, either on the whole body, or on some part of it, usually attended with violent itching, and often with great pain. The eastern leprosy was a distemper of the most loathsome kind, highly contagious, so as to infect garments, and houses, and was deemed incurable by any human means”.
In summary, to touch a leper was unthinkable, but ‘Jesus put out his hand, touched him’ anyway. People would avoid him. In fact, they would throw stones at him (or anyone with a leprosy disease) if he did come close. With his open sores and dirty bandages, he was the kind of person anyone wouldn’t want to touch. Yet, the first thing Jesus did for this man was to ‘put out his hand, touched him’. If I was there, I don’t know… I might runaway, and did what everyone else’s did – stay away from ‘troublesome’ people like this leper man.
When I read this story – I am amazed by God’s love and ashamed by my sinful prejudice. I am stunned by Jesus’s compassion and repented from my selfish ignorance. All the more, I praise Jesus for His amazing love! Even before he spoke to the leper, He reached out His hand and touched him. Can you imagine that? Can you construct that scene must have looked like? Can you roughly sense this man feeling when Jesus touched him? Can you see a smile and gladness with tears of joy on his face when Jesus touched him? Oh, this man must have longed for someone to touch him… amazing; Jesus could have healed him first and then touched him, but no, He touched him and then healed him.
Jesus was deeply moved. He put out his hand, touched him, and then healed him. Do you remember a time when you felt ‘touched’ by the love of Christ in your life? Give praises and thanks to Him. Do you desire desperately that Christ may ‘touch’ your heart? Pray: ‘If you want to, O Lord Jesus, you can clean my heart inside-out.’ He will. This is His heart’s desire, no doubt – but will you?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.