Monday, January 11, 2010


A year or so back I was having breakfast with a couple of other evangelists. One of them wanted to know what passage from the Bible we thought best showed the character of Jesus. The Scripture that I mentioned was one from Sunday's reading.

Here it is:

1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." 3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

In this moment, Jesus gives the man much more than just healing him. Here is a man that has probably not had physical contact with another person for quite sometime. He is "unclean." Few us go even a single day without the touch of another human being--a handshake, a pat on the shoulder, a hug, a kiss. From the moment that this man was declared "unclean" he had lived in isolation. Whenever he was among other people, he would have to declare himself as unclean so that people could move away from him. He had become a non-person. He could not work. He had no rights. He would have to count on family or friends to provide for him or he would have to beg for food. In the eyes of society, he was nothing.

Before Jesus restored his health, Jesus restored his personhood. He gave him back his self esteem. The Bible doesn't say that Jesus healed him and then touched him. The Bible says that Jesus touched (while he was still unclean) and then healed him. We could learn a lesson from Jesus. Things that seem small to us, can be really big to others--a touch, a call, a card, a smile, a word of encouragement. You and I may not be able to heal somebody of a dreaded disease, but we can lift their spirit and let them know that they are somebody; that they are important. We can touch them.

John <><


Sicilian said...

We were both thinking the same thing John.
One never knows what touches someone's life.

Mike said...

'He is "unclean."'

That's how all the women treat me that I try and get to know.

Wv: pureace - What's going on in the middle east. pureed peace