Sin is a word most people don’t like to use these days. But I will use it because it’s the word that God uses. And our sin is the barrier that stands between us and God. The barrier. Enter … Jesus.

Leprosy is a horrible disease. Back in Jesus’ day, it was often fatal which is why back then, lepers were outcasts. They couldn’t live with their families or in their communities.

Instead they were cast out, living in colonies outside the safety of the city walls, often in the local rubbish dump.

If a leper came close to someone without leprosy, the leper would have to shout out, “Unclean, unclean” to warn the other person.

Matthew 8:2,3 Then a man sick with leprosy came to him. The man bowed down before Jesus and said, “Lord, you have the power to heal me if you want.” Jesus touched the man. He said, “I want to heal you. Be healed!” Immediately the man was healed from his leprosy.

So this leper was breaking every rule in the book. And yet Jesus, moved with compassion, reached out, touched him and said, “I want to heal you. Be healed!” … and so the leper was indeed healed. An awesome miracle no doubt, but the bit that really gets me here is the fact that Jesus did the one thing He shouldn’t have done. He reached out and touched the leper – the one thing this man hadn’t experienced since the day he became a leper.

The touch of another human being.

When I first read that, I realised that I was that leper. My sin was a stench in the nostrils of God like the puss-filled sores of that leper.

And yet Jesus, filled with compassion, reached out and touched me, saying “I am willing. Be healed!” Jesus.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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