Read: Mark 1:40-42
Moved with pity, [Jesus] stretched out his hand and touched him. (v. 41)
Rules in the Bible always had well-grounded reasons behind them. The laws of Israel were a gift from God designed to keep people healthy and safe. Take, for instance, the rule on staying away from lepers. Leprosy was a contagious disease and so, difficult though it was for lepers to be isolated, the goal was to keep the disease from spreading. Touch a leper, and you yourself would become unclean and would be required to stay away from everyone else for a good week just to make sure you had not contracted leprosy yourself. Sin and its results in a fallen world (like disease) are like that: they spread, they infect.
But Jesus routinely touched lepers and other diseased people. Yet he never got sick. Jesus did not become unclean as a result of touching sick people but instead the contagion went the other way: Jesus’ touch brought the contagion of good health! People were healed! The holiness inside Jesus was stronger than any sin or evil or disease he encountered and so his touch brought blessing and renewal and health.
Mark 1:1 made clear that Jesus was the world’s new Genesis: he was the beginning of a creation restored. The good news of the gospel is that as God’s Messiah, Jesus has all the power necessary to take on the brokenness and suffering of this world so that we can all move from sickness to shalom—to that state of peaceful flourishing God intended in the beginning.
Heal our sin-sick world, dear Jesus, with your compassionate touch.