He Touched a Leper

And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Matthew 8:2-3)

Amidst the pandemic, quarantine or lockdown is often imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19. During my recent trip to Taiwan, I was confined in a quarantine hotel room alone for 15 days upon arrival. Afterwards, I stopped by a dental office to make an appointment, but I was told to leave right away when they learned that I was still in my 7-day self-health monitoring period after my 14-day quarantine. The feelings of isolation and humiliation were in full at this incident when I was treated fearfully as a possible contagious disease carrier from abroad.

During Biblical times, leprosy was a very fearful thing. The Lord gave Moses very specific instructions about keeping those infected with leprosy from spreading the disease to others (Leviticus 13), including keeping all lepers isolated from the community. The leper had to live alone, away from others. Aside from coping with his physical ailments, the leper would have to suffer the indignity of uncleanness and struggle with feelings of loneliness, fear, and rejection, all of which can be both physically painful and emotionally tiring.

A leper took initiative and bravely came to Jesus to seek for healing. In great faith and humility, the man with leprosy knelt before Jesus and declared that Jesus could make him clean if He wanted to. Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the man’s leprosy was cleansed.

Sometimes we may have feelings of isolation, fear, and a lack of belonging as experienced by the leper. However, for the leper, he recognized his need and came before Jesus for healing. Realizing our helplessness or the spiritual void within ourselves is the beginning of healing. As painful memories surface, we can bring them to God for healing and restoration, allowing Him to remove the pain and shame associated with those memories. Jesus is our compassionate Lord. He understands our feelings and He is willing to heal all who come before Him.

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