Matt.8:1-3 – When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
I love the miracles of Jesus. Here we see Jesus touching someone no one else would touch. Lepers were outcasts. Their disease was a scourge leaving the sick unclean, not allowed to interact with anyone. The lonliness and rejection had to be as miserable as leprosy itself. No one would touch a leper because of the religious implications as well as fear of the disease itself. That is no one but Jesus. His touch cleansed the leper and had no effect on Jesus. Here is Barclay’s comment on this miracle.
“There is the healing of the leper. Here we see Jesus touching the untouchable. The leper was banished from the society of men; to touch him, and even to approach him, was to break the Law. Here we see the man who was kept at arm’s length by all men wrapped around with pity and the compassion of the love of God.”
That’s what all of the Lord’s miracles were about, His compassion for hurting people. He was moved by this man’s sickness as well as his lonliness. His touch was the touch of compassion. Here is a thought from Spurgeon on this leper’s struggle to be made whole.
“He could not live in the city, but he might be found on the mount, in the outskirts of the crowd, where he would hear that gracious voice; and he came and “worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,” in which I detect no unbelief, but rather a very strong faith. “If thou dost but will, I can be made clean”…. Christ’s grace, which usually wrought at once, in an instant, wrought for ever — the man was cleansed, never to be sick again; cured perfectly; the leprosy was cleansed.”
So maybe you feel like this rejected, untouchable leper in today’s story. You may be rejected by family and friends but never by the Lord. No matter how filthy your life has become, one touch from the Lord and you will be totally clean. Just draw near and call out to Him. You will be surprised at His sudden response.