I’d like to share one of my favorite Bible stories with you. It’s quite short, one of the shortest in scripture. It goes like this:

“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:40-41

I love how it says Jesus was moved with compassion. He didn’t heal the leper to impress him or anyone else. He truly felt for the guy. Please know this about Jesus – He cares. There is never a moment when He doesn’t. Behind His every thought is a heart full of compassion. It’s impossible for him to move without it.

Reach Out and Touch Somebody

Reach Out and Touch Somebody

The other thing that impresses me is that Jesus touched the leper. He didn’t always do this when healing the sick. Often Jesus just spoke. He told the paralytic, “Get up and walk!” He called Lazarus out of the tomb. He told an official, “Go home, your daughter is well.” There was no touching involved, just a voice of authority. The situation with the leper was different. Jesus actually stretched out His hand and touched him!

Imagine what that touch meant to the leper. It had probably been ages since he experienced any kind of human contact. He had been removed from his home and banished from society. There were no kisses for him at the end of the day, no hugs to look forward to and no hands to hold. Those days were long gone. His was a sorry existence, one of loneliness and seclusion. Everyone knew to back far away his kind.

But Jesus drew near. He stretched out his hand. He could have just spoken, but He didn’t. He offered a touch. Why did He do it? The answer has already been given – He was moved with compassion. In other words, Jesus recognized the leper’s deepest longing. A touch was what He needed most; a simple gesture that said, “Someone cares.” I imagine that touch rocked his world. And with that touch came healing. The leper was never the same afterward.

Jesus still desires to touch lives even today. He calls us to be His hands. This means we must be moved by the same compassion that moves Him. We can’t avoid the lepers. We must reach out to the unclean. They need His touch. He is willing. How about you?

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