As we wrap up our discussion about the four groups of untouchables whom Jesus readily touched, we do well to ask ourselves, “Who are the untouchables in my life?” So today, I invite each of us to consider the answer to this question and to look beyond the obvious before we respond. While it’s easy to reply categorically and to list populations such as vagrants, criminals, or drug addicts, I believe we all have a more personal application…if we dare to admit it. Truth be told, for some of us, it would be easier to walk into the middle of a homeless encampment and sit down and eat lunch than it would be to engage in a discussion with a member of Antifa or with a Trump or a Biden supporter. At a time when politics is so hotly divided, many of us feel disillusioned and have adopted one-sided thinking as a means of simplifying. That said, the last thing we want to do is to “touch” someone on the other side, for in doing so, we might see their humanity and feel conflicted. Of course, there are those who could care less about politics, and for them, the untouchable might be someone at work who is trying to make them look bad or the noisy neighbor who keeps them up all night. Whoever these people are, they’re the ones by whom we feel so betrayed that we would be offended if someone we care about struck up a friendship with them. However, that’s exactly what God is asking us to do. By befriending our greatest enemies, not only do we grow as people, but we assume a supernatural power that proves to them how real our Lord is.
My friend, I challenge you to intentionally identify those in your world who are the hardest to touch and willingly extend your hand to them. As difficult as it is, lay down your pride and preconceived notions, and simply show love. Affirm the image of God in your enemies and competitors and pray for them to be blessed. Ask Jesus to fill your heart with mercy and compassion, shower them with joy and kindness, and you will be astonished by how good it makes you feel!