The Touch of Jesus

Mark 1:40-41
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

Dirty outcast, scorned and mocked, shunned and rejected, falling to his knees.  The pain of his leprosy could not compare to the pain of his isolation.  The sores that overtook his body could not compare to the wounds inflicted by hurtful words, averted eyes, hurried steps the other way.  The cries of “Unclean” would ring in his ears.  The absence of compassion would weigh heavily upon him.

But with faith, simple faith, and a boldness perhaps only possessed by the desperate, this leper comes to Jesus.  Perhaps he had seen Jesus heal other people of their diseases.  Perhaps he had noticed a large crowd of sinners and outcasts thronging Jesus as He patiently ministered to them, talking with them, spending time with them.  Maybe he saw Jesus look his way without a shudder or a sneer.

This man recognizes his own condition.  His disease consumed him, just as our sin consumes us.  And yet his request says almost nothing about himself, only that he needs cleansed, but he recognizes fully that Jesus has the power to help him and that it must be His will.  And Jesus, the very embodiment of compassion, touches this man.  Perhaps he felt a tingle, a warmth as the power of God flowed through his body.  And though Jesus’ words would have been enough to cure him, maybe what he needed more was the touch of another person.

Any trembling sinner can come and fall on their knees before Jesus.  There is no need to be afraid to ask Him for cleansing.  It is His will that all be clean.  It is His will that every sinner find gracious relief as the sores of sin are healed.  It is His will that the blackest-stained soul experience the refreshing cleansing offered by the blood of Christ.  Though everyone else would cast them out, turn the other way, ignore their cries, and even mock and attack, Jesus will come close.  He will reach out His almighty hand.  He will touch each one and make them whole.

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