‘…Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.’ Mark 1.41
A final thought about this healing story is what it says about Jesus’ commitment to us. We read about him touching the man with leprosy. To do this would have rendered him unclean and caused him to risk infection, yet his compassion was a far greater force at work than risk or fear – so he touched the man anyway.
This is an example of the commitment of Jesus to us. His love for the world was not simply a matter of smiling sweetly and having nice thoughts towards us, nor about Jesus pointing his finger from heaven and ‘zapping’ us from on high. His love drove him to leave heaven and live amongst us, to speak to us face to face, and to bring the personal nature of his touch to us, with all the risks and consequences this involved.
When we think about our own quest for healing, we might wonder whether Jesus loves us enough to heal us. His touch to a man with leprosy is an illustration of the extent of his love for this world; it is a picture of the reality of his love. Of course he loves us enough to touch us – he has already proved this.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission