A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Touching the Untouchable
Imagine the life of a leper in Jesus’ day. Imagine the pain. Imagine the rejection. Imagine having no physical contact with another human being for years. No hugs, no pats on the back, not even a handshake. Imagine being untouchable.
Until one day when, with nothing to lose, you crawl on your knees to a rabbi named Jesus. You have heard of his power. You have heard of his kindness. Maybe, just maybe, he will save you from this life of loneliness. Trembling, you look up into the kindest eyes you have ever seen and say, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
What will he do? Will he scream at you to get away from him? No, he doesn’t. As if in slow motion, the man reaches down and touches you. Touches you! With that one touch, this rabbi reveals his concern for you, his care for you, his acceptance of you, his love for you.
We are not so different from that leprous man. We are also infected with a horrible disease. Our disease does not show on our skin. It shows in our lives. It shows in our lust, greed, selfishness, and hatred. To a holy God, our sins make us look as wretched as that leper. We kneel before God with the scabs and sores of sin covering our souls.
But Jesus is willing to touch the untouchable. Instead of screaming at us to get away from him, he reached down and touched us. He left his heavenly home and became one of us. He touched us when no one else would. He touched us in order to do what no one else could. With nails through his hands and feet, with a crown of thorns on his head, he looked down at us and said, “Be clean!”
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to touch me when I was untouchable. Thank you for making me clean. Amen.