Some of you feel that, when compared to others, you are ugly, dirty, and unholy. You may feel that you are an outsider, that no one is paying attention to you, that you are unloved. What you feel is similar to an “unclean” man in Luke chapter 5.
“While [Jesus] was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy” (v. 12a). According to the laws of Moses, those who have skin diseases like this man is considered ritually unclean. It doesn’t mean that his condition is a direct result of his own sins. But even if that is not the case, he cannot join religious ceremonies. He was an outcast, an outsider. No one dares to touch him.
But he has heard of Jesus. That’s why he came running to meet him. “And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean’ (v. 12b). He knows that Jesus is able to heal him. But even if he’s able to do that, but not willing, then it’s still bad news for the man.
Now, was Jesus willing to heal him? Actually, he was more than willing. “And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him” (v. 13).
Do you know what was shocking here to the people around him? It was not the healing miracle. They were beginning to get used to that. What was radical in this story is Jesus’ touching of the “unclean.” Probably this was the first time that someone has touched him!
We can learn from the story this amazing truth about Jesus – that Jesus is not just our healer, but he is our loving healer. Even when people look at us as dirty or ugly, even when we got defiled by our own sins, Jesus will not hesitate to touch us. Darrell Bock, a New Testament scholar, said about this story, “The most significant lesson from the cleansing of the leper story is that even outsiders can experience God’s healing grace.”
So, fellow Christians, feel Jesus’ loving and healing touch. Jesus is here to embrace you. Can you feel it? Do you want it?
This is an excerpt from part 7 of the sermon series The Story of Jesus based on the story of Luke 5:1-32.
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