Jesus touched the leper

Do you get that?

Does that sink into your soul?

A leper was unclean. He was untouchable. To touch a leper was to make yourself unclean.

They were cast out. They were driven from society. The were not allowed in the Temple.

And Jesus touched them.

(Mark 1:40-41)  40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
  41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

And when he touched them, they became clean. And he took their uncleanness upon himself.

And then the Romans and the Jews and the World dragged him outside the camp, with all of our uncleanness, and crucified him – along with all of our uncleanness.

Think about that. Jesus touched the leper.

Who are we afraid to touch? Who are we afraid are too dirty for us?

If you think that someone is too dirty, then you do not yet understand. Read it again.


The greatest sorrow that crushes our soul is the sorrow of uncleanness. Being driven away; being hated; being considered unclean.

Too dirty, too sinful, too seductive, too “other” for all of us clean people.

Do you feel like you just showed up at the feast and you are filthy? Do you feel that in your soul?

Your soul crumbles under the weight of your uncleanness. You are unclean yourself. What you have endured left a film of stain on your soul that you just wish would go away.

How you long to be one of the normals! To just live and shop and eat and drink and love as if you didn’t have a huge, ugly sign attached to your neck: UNCLEAN. DON’T TOUCH!”

Jesus touched the leper.

Jesus touched the leper.

Stand up straight. Lift up your eyes. strengthen your knees.

You are the circumcision of God. You are clean. You are in his presence.

Because Jesus touches you as well.


Filed under Gospel, Hope

3 responses to “Jesus touched the leper

  1. Karen

    Great post, loved reading this. Thank you!

  2. Aussie

    Off topic…. you all have to watch this… my daughter tells me there are more…

    “A Nouthetic (Bible) Counselor Counsels the future King David”

    Thanks Sam for your blog posts and sermons….they have helped me so much in the last couple of years.

  3. Anu Riley

    Thank you, Pastor. The fact that I’ve been mulling over how He touched the leper even before I read this post means so much to me.

    Leprosy can be physically seen, but believe me, there are plenty that feel that way from the inside out—-but ironically, it’s as if everyone (including you) can see still it. Because of how they treat you. And in turn, how you treat yourself. Since no one wants to be seen with me, let alone touch me, I see myself as they see me.

    I’ve had too many experiences where this has been the reality. However, there MAY be those that will be seen with you, even touch you—but it’s NOT to communicate the kind of love and acceptance that He would, and does.

    It’s called “condescending pity.” The focus is more on the “saint” who dares to mingle with a “sinner.” Someone so beneath him or her. Someone who is seen as different (and therefore dangerous) only deserves our indifference, but this “saint” is daring to tolerate someone like that.

    When the Lord touched that leper, He knew how to give love in a way that gave that leper his dignity back. “Being driven away; being hated; being considered unclean” is an apt description of what it feels like when our dignity is stripped away. It’s as if our very souls have been ransacked.

    I seem to recall that lepers were thought of as being punished by God for sinning. So people were told to stay away from them. They must have felt like the living dead. Alive, but only in the technical sense.

    I still remember when He healed a group of lepers, and only ONE came back to thank Him—-a Samaritan. It reminded me that even though Jews and Samaritans stayed away from each other, a mutual disease could erase those boundaries. When you can only socialize with a limited portion of humanity, certain differences seem to disappear. When you are seen as an untouchable, the only ones who will touch you are, well, other untouchables. Whether they are Jewish or not doesn’t seem to matter.

    I DO wonder if the other healed lepers, still socialized with that Samaritan. In order to rejoin the world they’d been ostracized from, did they have to ostracize their former friend? Treat him as an untouchable, but not due to leprosy. Would they be ostracized yet AGAIN, but not due to leprosy, should they dare to remain friendly with him?

    We don’t know, of course. But I try to think of it this way: once we are touched by Him, you start to change. There’s a difference, and you see and treat others differently. Being cleansed by Him doesn’t mean you start to notice those who are dirty, as if by contrast. It’s not like that. You start to see how much all of humanity needs His touch just as much as you did.

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