Thursday

Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, 'I do choose. Be made clean.' (v. 13)

Luke 5:12-16 Thursday 21 January 2021

Psalm 63:1-8

Background

When we read  today's verses,  it's important to remember that lepers were never touched. The danger of infection was too high. Indeed they had to warn other people they were near, so that no accidental contamination could happen.

Living as we have during Covid-19 gives us an insight into the life of the leper. For almost a year we have lived unable to embrace or welcome friends and family as we would like. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, not being able to embrace, shake hands, or stand beside someone strike at the very roots of being human. Our households and bubbles of support allow us to embrace and greet at least a few individuals with a kiss. But being unable to do that outside our households can make us feel isolated and frustrated. It's rather like standing outside in the cold watching a warming fire.

It has also given us insights into what it's like when we see people as 'problems' and not as individuals. It is no surprise that we are told healing followed from the contact Jesus made. It was healing on so many different levels, the healing of the disease, followed by integration into society. It was possible because Jesus saw the leper  as a child of God and not as a 'problem'.

Touching the untouchable, the outcast, the outsider can only be done when we see people differently. Jesus looked at the leper and he saw beyond the social problem. He saw the person who had been hidden by the disease. Jesus saw a person with whom he shared a sense of solidarity and he saw a child of God. 

Jesus reached out to the person, and healing began.

To Ponder:

  • When do I dehumanise people when I only see the problems? 
  • What skills do I need to see people and not problems?
  • Who do I need to stand alongside so healing and integration can begin?
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