Read: Mark 1:40-45
Moved with pity, [Jesus] stretched out his hand and touched him. (v. 41)
Here, as in so many places in the Gospels, we see Jesus filled with compassion. When Jesus encountered human suffering and sickness, he simply could not turn away. He was moved to the core of his being, thus displaying the heart of God.
And what suffering he saw in this leper. The physical suffering in leprosy would have been bad enough—the skin becomes ulcerated, the eyebrows fall out, the whole appearance of the face changes, and breathing becomes labored. But there was also emotional and spiritual suffering. Lepers were outcasts from the community. Considered “unclean,” they were required to keep their distance from healthy people.
But Jesus touched this man. Imagine the stir that must have caused! Jesus did not see an “unclean” person” but he saw someone who was suffering and in desperate need.
My father-in-law loved reciting famous poems and short stories. One poem he liked to repeat was “The Touch of the Master’s Hand” by Myra Brooks Welch. It tells the story of an old violin being auctioned off. Initially the auctioneer could barely get three dollars for it. Then a man came forward, dusted the instrument off, tightened the strings, and played magnificently. Subsequently the auctioneer received three thousand dollars! The difference was the touch of a master’s hand. Has Master Jesus touched you? When he does, it will change you forever. —John Koedyker
Prayer: Lord, thank you for touching us and making us new.