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He Touched Me

Jesus Heals a Leper

Perhaps the most striking thing about Jesus in this encounter with a leper is that Jesus touched the leper.

And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. ~ Matthew 8:3

The way I hear it, this leprosy was highly contagious. Lepers had to keep their distance. They had to make their presence known so no one would accidentally come too close and expose themselves to this horrid living death. There was no cure for this dread disease, and there was no hope for those who found themselves in its grasp.

Now if you know much about Jesus, or if you read down one paragraph to the next encounter in Matthew 8, you will quickly realize that Jesus did not need to touch anyone in order to heal him. He needed only to ‘speak the word’ and the Father would be pleased to answer His call. I have always loved His statement in the garden when Peter was trying to hack those who came to arrest Jesus into little pieces.

Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? ~ Matthew 26:53

Or in the BLP (Ben’s Loose Paraphrase) “Don’t you know I could pray?”

But Jesus does not simply speak the word. Jesus touches the leper. Jesus takes his clean hands and places them on the putrefying, rotten flesh of a leper.

It strikes me how willing Jesus is to touch death in order to bring life.

I love the way Bill Johnson puts this. In the old covenant if you touch a leper you are unclean, in the new covenant if you touch a leper the leper becomes clean.

Jesus gets this.

I have two take-aways today:

1)    You need to see that Jesus sees your state, and is moved with compassion, and is even now reaching toward you to touch the death in your circumstance and bring life to it.

2)    Once He does it’s your turn. I want you to go out and touch someone’s need today. It has been often said, “Jesus has no hands today, but your hands.” Be the hands that are not afraid to touch someone in need.

BenI am so glad you came by today.

See you again soon


Oh yeah, don't forget to leave your questions about the Bible or Christian life here:

Another Red Letter Day Q&A

0 thoughts on “He Touched Me

      1. Larry Who

        Leprosy as stated in the Old Testament was more of a skin discoloration or skin condition. (Exodus 4:6) Whereas today's leprosy involves a nerve problem and leads to a rotting away of limbs, ears, nose, and other extremities.

        They don't seem to be related, but yet, they could be. Not sure about this.

        1. Ben Nelson

          I have heard that too, yet it always seemed pretty desperate when folks got it - like Miriam or Hezekiah, and with Jesus it is listed among the biggies - heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead - so i always thought it fell in there in severity to - like right next to dead - which sounds worse than - say psoriasis.

          1. Larry Who

            I agree, but from a Jew's perspective, they were right next to the dead. They were blemished sheep who were not allowed into the Temple or near other Jews. As far as they were concerned, they might as well have been dead.

  1. cshowers

    Ben, this is one of my favorite scripture passages. I love how Jesus reaches out and touches the ugly, the dirty, the unclean... I can't help but think of the emotions the leper must have felt as Jesus reached out His clean hands. Where did He touch him? I wonder... Did he cup his chin in His hand and gaze deeply into the leper's eyes, as they filled with tears? Did the leper's heart leap, as he was touched for the first time in who knows how many years? What a great God of mercy and love! Thanks for sharing!


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