This week we will continue to explore 7 ways Jesus showed love, love that we can seek to replicate to those around us.
3. Physical Touch
While he was in one of the towns, a man was there who had leprosy[c] all over him. He saw Jesus, fell facedown, and begged him: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Reaching out his hand, Jesus touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean,” and immediately the leprosy left him.
Let’s continue this mini-series of blogs and reflect a bit on how Jesus showed his love through physical touch. This might not have been an obvious one, but I think it needs to be in the list.
Can you imagine for a moment the scale and gravity of this moment in the life of the man with leprosy?
“I am willing; be made clean,”
In the bible the word used for leprosy covers not only that specific condition but also a wider range of severe skin complaints that people were suffering from. Not only did the person suffer from the direct physical complications and pain of the condition, but it was linked to overwhelming societal isolation.
It is likely that the man in the story had been banished from family, community and any physical touch. Anyone labelled ‘unclean’ had to warn others by ringing a bell to ward off anyone from mistakenly coming near him and risking contracting his condition.
From a life being completely ostracised, this man, covered in leprosy falls facedown and begs Jesus to help him. Jesus was willing, not only to heal him physically and spiritually but to also touch him and restore him into to society again as a human being.
Now that is incredible, through physical touch Jesus is able to demonstrate amazing love and to some it would seem like a reckless love, but Jesus did it all the same.
Image Credit: Jon Tyson