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Reaching Out

As Easter approaches, I've been going through the Gospels to look at Jesus' life. As I delved into stories about his miracles, one came to my attention. I've always loved this particular miracle, for a few reasons.

First, can you imagine living your life without human touch?

Think about it carefully. A handshake. Bumping into someone at the grocery store. A friendly hug. A pat on the back. Perhaps even something more intimate, such as holding hands, a kiss, or tenderly holding your child against your chest.

What would you do if you literally couldn't touch anyone, or let them touch you, without giving them a horrible disease?

Luke 5:12-16 tells the story of a man with leprosy. They were closed off from their society because they were considered unclean. Not much is said about this man, aside from his leprosy. It makes me wonder if he had a family. Was he a younger man ready to marry? Was he already married and had children? Did he stand on the outskirts of his community, watching and longing for interaction? How did he react when people shrank away from him, fearful they would catch his disease and become unclean themselves? How often did he long just to brush up against someone as he passed by on his way to work, or to worship?

My favorite part of the miracle is how it's laid out in the Bible. It clearly states that Jesus touched the man, then said, "I will; be clean." Immediately, the man was healed.

Did you catch that? The man was immediately healed when Jesus spoke the words. But Jesus touched him first. Perhaps I'm overstepping, but could Jesus have known how much the man needed physical touch after potentially years of isolation from other people?

Jesus showed compassion on the man, reaching out to him when no one else would. Healing him physically, also restoring his likely desire to rejoin his community and perhaps even his family.

Jesus sees into our hearts and souls, and is able to restore us back to life. I thank God that He has restored my soul by His sacrifice and resurrection.

As Easter approaches, I encourage you to look at the life of Jesus. You won't regret it.

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