The Hands-on Gospel
Ask God to clean you entirely of things that offend him before you read this passage and pray.
Read LUKE 5:12-16
 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “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!” And immediately the leprosy left him.  Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”  Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Jesus deal with the pressures of his ministry?
This poor leper was afflicted with a vile disease, for which the only remedy in ancient times was total exclusion from physical contact, from gainful employment and all that makes life worth living. No doubt the psychological consequences were almost as horrible, especially because the Jews associated this disease with spiritual uncleanness.
However, he has two humble advantages. Having somehow heard about Jesus and found him, it was easier for this man to fall to the ground and beg (12) than for the priests or rich folks of the region. For just such suffering people, Jesus came! Second, in his desperation, he makes exactly the right, simple point: if Jesus is willing, he can make him clean.
Mark’s version of the story describes Jesus as “filled with compassion” (Mark 1:41). The fact that he touched the leper would have been hugely significant to the crowds. According to the law, this would have made Jesus ritually unclean himself, as well as liable to physical infection. Yet, Jesus’ holy power overrides these principles and at once the man is healed in body, mind and spirit. What a gift of love!
As Jesus’ body on earth, how might we (and you) act for him in reaching out to the unclean, lonely and lost?
Lord Jesus, just as You loved the rejected and unlovely, so help me to share Your heart and show them Your love, too.
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