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There’s a better way - as seen through the leper. Even though he didn’t know God’s will, he still begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Showing a great humility, most likely embarrassed by his smell and sight, he still felt that it was worth the time to at least ask Jesus to heal him - to beg for his merciful cure.
So here Jesus was - the one who claimed to be the Messiah - confronted with a smelly and ugly leper who most Jews probably threw stones at and told to get away. How would he respond? First of all he says that Jesus was Filled with compassion. Sometimes we say that we are “sick to the stomach,” or have a “gut feeling” - that’s what this says here about Jesus. His insides were filled with compassion - he was genuinely moved at the sight of this leper - generally felt really bad for the situation.
And what did he do? Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. Even though leprosy was a contagious disease that would make people unclean for days, Jesus didn’t shy away from him. He didn’t say, “oh, get away from me! You stink!” Nothing of the sort - Jesus reached out his hand - the same hand that would one day reach out on a cross and get a nail pounded through it - and touched the man. With great words of comfort he told the leper - “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And what was the result? Instead of the man’s filth contaminating Jesus, the purity of Jesus cleansed the man. Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Jesus revealed to us what kind of a God He is - a God of compassion - one who instead of being repelled by our sin, was willing to get his hands dirty and cure our sin. On the cross didn’t just cure the sins of the world from afar - he had them be thrown on him and contaminate him. He was willing to do more than just have us talk about our pain - he literally did feel our pain - as he was crucified in our place. All this he did because He WANTED TO - because He is a God of compassion.
Isn’t that just so important and comforting to know? This past week I had to change a child’s diaper that wasn’t my own. It wasn’t something I did very willingly. I was repulsed by the smell - I held my head the other way, and I quickly did what had to be done - complaining about it to myself the whole time. Afterwards I told my wife, “I don’t know what they’re feeding that boy, but whatever it is, it has to stop!” I don’t think the boy noticed what I was doing, but he probably knew I wasn’t too thrilled. Whenever you have someone help you who doesn’t really want to be there,
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