"And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, 'If you will, you can make me clean.' Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, 'I will; be clean.' And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean."
— Mark 1:40-42
Back in this time, leprosy was a horrible disease to get. If you had leprosy, you would have to go around yelling to the people of the city “I have leprosy!” What if we had to shout through the streets of Morgantown something horrible that we are going through? This man felt like a complete outcast in society and was actually sent to the outskirts of the city. His condition of leprosy was probably in horrible shape. Leprosy would deteriorate your skin to a point where it would peel off your body and even causes your nose and lips to fall off. This disease was both physically and emotionally destructive.
When Jesus and the disciples get to the city, the man approaches Jesus and asks for healing. But notice he isn’t begging, but he’s humbling himself because he knows that the Christ is standing before him. We see that it says Jesus was “moved with pity.” In some translations, it says, “from the depths of Jesus.” Jesus felt this man’s pain DEEPLY. Jesus responds with an acceptable answer and heals the man.
I listened to a sermon this past week about how it was in Jesus’ character to embrace the man before He healed him. Now, wait a minute. I know that if I had the gift of healing and someone had an EXTREMELY contagious disease, I would be healing them from a FAR distance. But that's not who our Jesus is. Jesus says to us, “I feel your pain, and I know what you're going through. Can I hold you in my arms for a bit?” This man with leprosy probably hadn’t been embraced or loved in a long time because his disease prevented all interaction with people.
There are people in your school right now who have “leprosy.” No, not the actual disease, but they have something like it. Maybe they smell or are going through something absolutely horrible. They need the love of Christ. To do that, they need that embrace—they need that moment of attention. I challenge you all to pursue the love of God, and not limit what he wants to do in your life. We shouldn’t stop at the barriers that God has already broken down. We must love like Jesus loved the leper.
Lord we just thank you for showing us the intentionality of love. I pray that you open our eyes to see those who need your embrace. I pray that if there are any barriers that they are broken down, so that we can achieve your perfect plan for us. I pray that we can open our hearts so you can flow through us. We thank you God for everything you are doing in us, through us, and among us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Have a phenomenal day and Blessings!