Jesus Touched the Leper

14th October, 2012 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

Tonight on our last night of vacation in Virginia we are watching the old classic film Ben Hur. One thing struck me tonight just as it struck me so many years ago when I saw the movie for the first time. In the valley of lepers, Judah Ben Hur’s mother pleads to her son not to come near her as she cowers in fear within the dark, diseased-filled cave. But even as she pleads, her son comes nearer. He looks into her eyes and cradles her face between his hands. His love for his mother is stronger than his fear of the dreaded disease.

This movie portrays so well the stigma attached to the disease of leprosy — the disease that gradually sucked life from a person and could never be cured.

After seeing this scene, I remembered the story of Jesus and the leper.  When the leper came to Jesus to be healed, Jesus didn’t heal him from afar. No, Jesus came close, touched the man, and then healed him.  He wouldn’t have had to touch him. He could have just spoken the word, but Jesus knew what an outcast this man was. Jesus knew the hunger the leper had for human touch. Jesus touched the leper before He healed him because He wanted this man to know how much He loved him.

For this man, it was Jesus’ touch even more than His words that let him know how deeply loved he was by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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