“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Matthew 8:2-3
Throughout the Gospels, you’ll always find Jesus preaching, teaching and healing, and He often gave more than just health when He healed the sick. I am reminded of the poor leper who came to the Lord and asked Him to make him clean. The leper must have been desperate—he not only broke the law when he left the leper colony to look for Jesus, but he was also risking his life because he could have been stoned to death for breaking the law and endangering the health of others.
When the leper met Jesus, he worshipped Him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” I’m so glad that Jesus didn’t deal with him according to the demands of the law. He didn’t say, “How dare you break the rabbinical law and come out into the open? You’re a sinner! You’re unclean! Get lost before the people stone you to death!” No, His grace was flowing abundantly toward the man. His supply of healing was there for the taking.
So, filled with compassion and unconditional love, Jesus put out His hand and touched the leper, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately, the man was healed. (Matthew 8:1–3) Notice that Jesus touched the leper first before He healed him. Now, why is this significant?
Simply put, that simple touch restored a sense of humanity and dignity to the man who had not been touched for a long time. Because of his unclean and probably physically repulsive condition, no one wanted to touch, let alone embrace or kiss, him. He himself could not touch, hug or kiss his loved ones. Can you imagine what that does to the self-esteem and sanity of a human being? Jesus alone understood that he had not just been sick, but also alienated and dehumanized.
I want you to see that love gave the man more than just health. Jesus knew that the leper needed more than just physical healing, so He gave above and beyond what the leper had hoped for. Besides health, Jesus gave him back his dignity and the joy of being able to embrace and be embraced by his friends and loved ones. Again, we see the over-supplying love and grace of our Lord!
Our wonderful Savior is the same today as he was in this story (Hebrews 13:8). No matter what need you are facing today, be it physical, material, relational, or financial: know that Jesus hears your cry for help and He is saying, “I will…” Let Him reach out and touch you today, let Him show you His love and provision that superabounds any need we could ever have.