3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.
This happens directly after the sermon on the mount, one of the greatest sermons of all time. Amidst the crowds and the people pressing on Jesus to be known by him, Jesus is confronted by the very image of impurity in ancient Jerusalem; a man with leprosy. Well within his rights, jesus could have ignored the masn and kept moving. This would have been seen as righteous. However, Jesus stops. No only does he stop, he stretches out his hand and touches him. Jesus didn’t need to touch the man to heal him (see the next story in Mat 8). But He does, why? Because with a touch, Jesus does more than just heal his body….he heals the soul of a man who hasn’t been touched in years. Jesus touches the untouchable.
In my own world, I have to ask the question: who are the untouchables? Who are the people that society and my own self can justify not interacting with? Not loving. Not caring for. God shows us that the Christ-like response is not to step away but to step into these moments, and love these people.
Jesus, show me who it is in my world you are calling me to love, even if it is difficult or not socially acceptable. Show we how to live more like you.