In Mark 1:40 we find a man with leprosy approaching Jesus. Now according to the Law, this man should have stayed far back from Jesus yelling, “Unclean! Unclean!” and letting Him know that someone ceremonially unclean was in the vicinity. This man…outcast both socially and spiritually, was forced to live outside the city alone with no physical contact with his family, so it was by sheer desperation and hopelessness he boldly came to Jesus asking to be healed. For what did he have to lose? Despair had driven him to the only hope he had…to be healed and then be able to return back to his loved ones. It tells us that Jesus was filled with compassion for the man and reached out and touched him…and he was healed. Have you ever felt like a social and spiritual outcast…alone and lonely? Jesus is there waiting to touch you today.
Lepers were the most reviled of human beings in Jesus’ time. They were considered utterly unclean physically and spiritually. They were shunned and outcast…required to avoid others, staying at least six feet away from anyone, and forced to yell “unclean! unclean!” when approaching crowds. So what gave this leper the brazenness to walk right up to Jesus in the middle of a crowd and ask for healing? He knew he was breaking every law in Leviticus 13. But he also knew deep in his soul that this man he had watched from afar could cure him of this devastating disease. He took a huge risk, but he had nothing to lose, and everything to gain if Jesus would oblige. The crowd was probably stunned by the sight of this leper dropping at the feet of Jesus…but they were even more startled to watch with their own eyes the skin on this man return to normal when Jesus touched him.