“Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:41 NKJV
When social distancing regulations eventually relax sometime in the future, we shall see more people able to engage with family and friends again. Some will possibly experience a hug or a handshake for the first time in months. Imagine the feeling of physical contact! Your first embrace. The much desired touch you have waited to experience for months but were not allowed to have because you, and possibly everything and everyone around you, were deemed untouchable and unclean.
In this story in Mark, we are introduced to a leper. No name, no background details, just labelled as ‘a leper’ – enough said. What this story doesn’t tell us, but what we know from the Old Testament, is that lepers were ceremonially unclean and were unable to have physical contact with people. They even shouted ‘unclean, unclean’ so people knew to steer clear of them. They were the untouchable and the unclean of society.
Yet when Jesus enters the scene, what this man knew as normality changed. A statement fuelled with faith from a place of humility, found a response bursting with compassion and complete willingness. The result: instantaneous healing. Two men, two statements at one moment in history, saw the untouchable touched, the unclean made clean.
Interestingly, leprosy is also symbolic of sin in the Bible. I wonder as we look at our own lives and the nation around us can we see this leprosy? We might not like to think of ourselves as unclean but is that the condition of our hearts, of our nation? As this leper implored Jesus and knelt before Him, we too must get into the presence of our Saviour and pray believing He is willing to cleanse us, He is willing to heal our nation. We as a nation must humbly come before Him and allow Him to touch our very hearts.
In this story, there were no hand sanitisers or gloves around, just a Man who was willing to stretch out His hand and touch an unclean man to bring healing. That same Man, Jesus Christ, some years later would stretch out both of His hands as He hung on the cross to touch this world and change history forever.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is able to utterly transform Ireland’s normality and bring it into a new transformed way of being? One touch from the King of Kings can change absolutely everything! Today Ireland needs His touch because we need the leprosy of sin removed from our land. He is willing, He is willing, He is willing! So find your position before Him.
Dear God, thank You that You are willing to cleanse us and heal us today. We come to ask for Your forgiveness for all our sinfulness. We ask You to visit our land and through Your precious blood Lord Jesus make us whole again. Amen.