“Jesus reached out with his hand and he touched the man” Luke 5:13
Think of the forgotten dish in the back of your refrigerator that’s been there for a few weeks. Its gone bad, covered with fuzzy mold. Think about your reaction when you lift the foil. Did you make a face? This man — this leper — was visibly shocking from a physical perspective. Imagine a man covered with leprosy. Got it? Your natural reaction to this human mold would probably be the same — your face would contort and you would recoil. That’s what this man experienced on a daily basis in first-century Palestine.
Notice he didn’t heal him physically first. He touched him! Imagine you are this man and you see Jesus. He comes up to you, reaching out, about to do the unthinkable. Is He extending his arm? The leper says, No! No, Lord! And then Jesus does it anyway. Imagine that touch. Just imagine it; you haven’t experienced positive human touch in years, maybe decades, and then the hand of Jesus makes contact with your shoulder. For you, that touch is the grace of God. Touch is acceptance; touch is affirmation of dignity. Jesus is healing your heart and saving you simply by His touch. The grace of God is pouring over you and not a word has been said.
Notice here that the communication of Jesus does not produce the physical healing. It proves the acceptance of this person. Is there someone physically unacceptable to me? Am I the hand of Jesus reaching out and accepting that person. Sometimes just a smile, a verbal greeting to someone who we consider unattractive will open the door in our mind to becoming a more gracious person.
Father, you have given me grace, I will give others grace.