Yesterday, we talked about living as Christ-followers who have pierced hands that are willing to touch the untouchable, just like He did. For the next few days, I want to talk about four specific groups of people Jesus opened His heart to who were considered the least touchable, and what each one teaches us about being His disciples today. First of all (and I’ve taught on this a lot), He extended His hand to a man with leprosy. Now to understand just how ostracized members of this infirmed population were, it’s important to remember that every Jewish boy had the entire Torah, or the first five books of the Bible, memorized by the time he was a teenager. This means that when he was committing the 56 verses of Leviticus 13 to his memory, he was saying to himself for weeks at a time, “lepers are unclean, lepers are unclean.” From childhood, he was indoctrinated in the belief that if you touch a person with leprosy, their uncleanness is imparted to you. This is why it was so horribly shocking when Jesus reached out and extended His hand to someone afflicted by this “curse.” Yet as unprecedented as it was, with just one touch, a desperate leper was healed by our Lord, and His life was forever changed. While it was a bold and reckless move in the eyes of the law, our Savior willingly became unclean to show the far-reaching depths of His love, and this sets a powerful example for us in the present age.
My friend, Jesus has given you the authority to invoke wholeness in His Name. He invites you to go to those who are sick, hurting, and broken and lay your hands on them to pray for healing. Though it takes courage, your willingness to touch the ones whom the world has deemed “untouchable” might be just what it takes to bring forth their miracle. As you surrender stigma and step out in trust, there’s no telling how mightily the Holy Spirit will move through your compassionate heart and bold faith!