Jesus Restores Your Dignity (Through the Gospels)
"And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, 'Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.' And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, 'I will; be clean.’” ^Matthew 8:2-3
Leprosy in the 1st century was seen as a curse from God. People who had leprosy were socially and religiously rejected by their society. In fact, lepers lived in colonies isolated from everyone else.
So this leper comes to Jesus not only with a physical illness, but with an emotional and spiritual one as well. Jesus does the unthinkable. Not only does Jesus heal the leper, Jesus touches him. “And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” (Matthew 8:3).
Why does Jesus do this? Jesus does this because He wanted to restore this man’s dignity. Leprosy is one of those illnesses that come with shame and guilt. Jesus healed this man not only with His words, but with His love. By extending His hand and touching this leper Jesus is healing the deepest emotional scars that comes along with being a leper. Jesus knows that this man does not only need physical healing, but a spiritual one. O, what a Savior we have in Jesus!
By touching this man, Jesus would be considered ceremonially unclean. According to the Levitical Law, if a man with leprosy touched someone, that person would be considered unclean. However, in Jesus the exact opposite happens. The unclean becomes clean and the sinner becomes a saint. You and I are unclean tainted with sin. We must like this leper come to Jesus and ask Him to touch us. We must bring to Jesus our sins, sicknesses and pain and know that He is more than willing…He loved us so much that He died on the Cross to show us how willing He really is. Jesus died so that we may live. Jesus became became a slave so that we could become children of God. Jesus is more than willing...