Jesus was in Capernaum when “A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy” (Matthew 8:2-3, NIV, (Why Use Bibles Besides the King James?)
I love the phrases, “If you are willing,” and “I am willing.” Jesus is willing to heal.
But if I had to pick my favorite line from this miracle it would be, “Jesus…touched the man.” Why do I love that phrase so much? The answer lies in Leviticus. Although we probably don’t read Leviticus very often these days, it was the law in the time of Jesus. Notice what the law was concerning leprosy:
The “leprous man, he is unclean…And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone…” (Leviticus 13:44-46)
How would it feel to be a leper? To be all by yourself, to dress in rags and to have to shout out “unclean” if people came near you? Now to make matters worse, let’s take a look in Leviticus 5:2: “If a soul touch any unclean thing, …he also shall be unclean, and guilty.”
So if you or I are clean and touch someone with leprosy, now we are unclean. That’s why I love, love, LOVE the phrase “and Jesus…touched him.” How long had it been since anyone had touched this man? Jesus could have healed the man without physical contact. But he touched him. Are there people that we consider to be untouchable? Can we reach out and touch them?
I know that Jesus reaches out to you and me and to heal us from any afflictions or challenges we have. “Jesus…touched him.” Jesus…has touched you and me…and he will touch us again.