by DanWolgemuth on April 18, 2008

The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, “Unclean, unclean.” He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp. ~ Leviticus 13:45-46

This was the law. This was the destiny for leprous citizens.

Unclean. Alone. Outcast.

This is what makes the encounter of Jesus in Luke 5 so bold and courageous.

, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” ~ Luke 5:13

There was no mistaken identity, for this man was “full of leprosy.” And as he approached Jesus, there was a decision to be made; a decision that crossed the lines of justice and invaded the space of mercy and grace.

I have no doubt that Jesus could have simply spoken the word and healing would have invaded every corner and every cell of this man, but healing was only part of the lesson that Jesus wanted to teach. “And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him.”

Clean became unclean, and broken became whole. And as it did, Jesus shattered the boundaries of prejudice, bias, arrogance and shame.

Jesus wasted no time in diagnosis. He knew exactly what He was dealing with. And as He stretched out His hand, He obliterated every argument that we could use to insulate ourselves from the outcast and disposed.

“He is unclean. He shall live alone.” The disease and the sentence had met their match, but more importantly, the victim had met the Savior. There was nothing clinical about the solution. No latex cloths. No delegation of duties. It was an assault, with a touch. Perfect skin on diseased skin.

This was no aberration or tangent in the ministry life of Jesus. This was a full on endorsement and example of love in action. Jesus touched what others despised. He will never ignore the pain, or grief, or loneliness, or ugliness. This is the message of Jesus, and it underscores the way of life that He expects from His followers.

“I will,” said Jesus.

Will we?

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