Sick of Religion? Week 1: Devotional Day 1
How was Jesus’ willingness to touch a leper wondrous in its original time and context? Why would this have been shocking for a Jewish audience to witness and read about?
Jesus did not need to touch the leper in order to physically heal him. Several times he only spoke a word to heal, even in the next few chapters (Mark 2:11, Mk. 3:3-5, Mk. 5:8, etc..). For centuries, lepers were not to be touched and had to live outside the community. Those who came near the leper had to call out “Unclean, unclean! (Leviticus 13:45-46). If anyone touched them they would then be unclean just as if they touched a dead person (Numbers 5:1-3). Remember how shocking that must have been for the Jews to see Jesus actually touching the leper, based on the above Scriptures in the Old Testament. Spend a moment reflecting on this important background information and consider why you think Jesus chose to touch him in the healing.
The leper needed to be healed spirit, soul and body since he had been rejected by people and not touched for so long. Touch was essential in the healing process for this leper to be healed psychologically and spiritually. Jesus, always loves us and is moved with pity (compassion) and knows what we need to be completely healed. How have you seen or experienced touch being part of the healing process? Share this with your LifeGroup.