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!?
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!