The loving touch of grace!

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 8:1-4

What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing, be clean!’” (Matthew 8:3)
Chapter 8 begins a new section, where Jesus shows how God’s upside down kingdom works.
In this story Jesus reverses the Law, and does what the Law does not/cannot do.
According to the Law, a diseased person was to be isolated (Leviticus 13:45-46).
They were unclean, untouchable, a danger to all who came close to them.
This made sense, since the Law did not have the power to heal or forgive people.
But Jesus is different; instead of avoiding this man, He touches him.
This would have made Him unclean according to the Law, but not Jesus.
Jesus represents God’s gracious love for sinners, strangers and enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).
The Law was a temporary measure until the Messiah came; Jesus changes everything.
In God’s Kingdom the healing grace of love displaces the defiling effect of sin.
We are touched and healed, welcomed and forgiven, received as righteous.
We should not be sending ‘sinners’ away, we should be welcoming them to Jesus!
They need to be loved and touched, not isolated and excluded; they need Jesus!
How else can they experience Jesus’s healing and life-transforming touch!?
PRAYER
Lord, You have changed everything. Instead of shunning and excluding sinners, You welcome, touch and restore them. This is how we are welcome, and this is how everyone should be welcomed!

4 Comments

  1. Lord Jesus forgive my indifferent heart. Give me your compassionate heart to welcome and touch the current outcast of society with gentleness and wisdom that your kingdom may come to those you are giving me to influence.

  2. “Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole… Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” This is the line of an old hymn that we used to sing in church and it popped into my head after reading this passage. What strikes me is that Jesus asked the leper to keep quiet about his healing and to go first to show the priest, then give an offering as proof of the healing. I find that kind of confusing. I can’t imagine not jumping for joy, first, and letting everyone in the vicinity know about it!
    Lord Jesus, thank you for your gracious, healing touch. Thank you for making me whole and washing me whiter than snow.

  3. Only Jesus can make me whole. The leper was an outcast for the health reasons and yet spiritually he was in tune. Christ healed both the physical and the spiritual. Jesus showed once again that all need His love and grace to be made whole, to be kids of the Kingdom. Let’s not isolate those we think that are unclean today, but welcome them into His presence as part of the family of God, being instruments of His peace.

    I am reminded of the healing of Peter and James and the following song:

    Peter and James went to pray.
    He asked for alms and held out his palms,
    And this is what Peter did say
    Silver and gold have I none,
    But such as I have give I thee,
    In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
    He went walking and leaping and praising God,
    Walking and leaping and praising God,
    In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

  4. I firmly believe Jesus can do whatever I would ask of Him – so I am so grateful for the lepers qualifier, “If you are willing”. Jesus was willing and he is willing when I ask but – I know his answer may not have the outcome as I may have pictured it. Here, clearly the leper wants to be clean – and Jesus is willing to do that – and I know when I ask him to make me clean – he graciously says yes – he gave his life for me. When someone comes to Jesus and makes him the ‘Lord’ of his life – it is a miracle – just as much as the leper was made clean – He too believed and trusted that Jesus could do it – and he was not disappointed. Jesus cleanses me – thank you Jesus. Help me to share the good news to others the cleansing power of Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *