There's Power in Touch
Posted: Tuesday, January 10
Verse of the day:
A man with leprosy[a] 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)
If you think about it you can probably remember a time when someone’s touch made a big impact on your life. Perhaps it was bear hug after a long time of absence from a friend, or someone simply held you when you were distraught from hearing devastating news. With their embrace they communicated acceptance and love beyond the capacity of mere words.
Matthew 8 contains the well-known story of Jesus healing a leper. Anyone who had the disease of leprosy was considered unclean by Mosaic law, and thus to touch a leper was one of 62 ways that a person could ceremonially defile themselves. Jesus certainly would have healed by simply speaking the command to be well, yet he chose to touch the man. Imagine the power of being touched for the first time in years! Jesus not only healed the man but brought him back into community; Jesus gives us a powerful example to follow.
While it is exceedingly rare to run into someone with leprosy in 21 century America, there are many who feel unclean; they feel like outcasts. One of the terrible side effects of sin is a sense of shame that leads to self-isolation. Like the leper in our story many may have a hunch that Jesus has the power to heal; they just wonder if He has the compassion to do so. To this day the touch of Jesus heals; it forgives sin and makes broken people whole. Jesus longs to touch people today, and he chooses to do so through you and I. Don’t hold back from being a conduit of God’s healing and acceptance today.