He knew he was risking his life, but it didn’t matter. He had nothing to lose. The leper (a person with Hansen’s Disease) could have been stoned to death for entering the city, but he wanted to see Jesus. He believed if anyone cared, if anyone could do something about his predicament, if anyone would show him kindness, it was the Teacher from Nazareth. He had to see Him.
While we don’t know what this poor leper looked like, modern-day images of deformed lepers give us an idea of his appearance. Picture a man in rags slowly making his way down the street. Parts of his face were missing along with some of his fingers and toes. He wouldn’t make eye contact with you if you passed him because of the shame he felt at his condition. He was legally, socially, and emotionally untouchable; no one dared to come within even a few feet of him. No one, that is, but Jesus.
The leper pleaded with Christ, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
When Jesus saw the leper, He did what no one had ever done before: He touched him. Then He spoke, “I will; be thou clean.” The leprosy instantly vanished. Jesus didn’t have to touch this man to heal him physically — His word was enough. But by His touch, Jesus brought emotional healing and showed that no one is untouchable to God.
You might think you are untouchable because you aren’t attractive, popular, wealthy, or in good health. Others might label you untouchable because they don’t understand you, or they see the ugliness of sin’s leprosy in your life. But that’s not how God sees you. God looks on you with the same love Christ had for the poor leper. He is the only One who can make you clean and restore your soul. Better yet, He wants to do this. If you see leprosy in your life, bring it before Him today with the leper’s simple faith. God will make you clean.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder