Memory Verse: Week of May 14th
Week of May 14th –
 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:13 ESV)
[Context: This verse comes from a touching scene (pun intended) of a leper who in desperation comes to Jesus. A leper was a physical, social, and spiritual outcast. Once it was discovered you had leprosy – you were immediately taken away from your family. They were not allowed into towns. They were economically impoverished. They were emotionally and socially completely cut off from others. They weren’t allowed to touch or get near anyone. They were utterly isolated emotionally. They were utterly destroyed economically. In Israel they were ceremonially unclean and thus, not allowed into the temple or the worshipping community. They were not allowed into the relational presence of God. Leprosy is a picture of sin and what it does to us and our relationship with God and others.
The request to be made clean was not just a desire for physical healing, but to be no longer rejected. It is to be restored in every area of life and brought in to a place of belonging.
The leper knew that Jesus could heal him, but was he willing. In our memory verse, Jesus says that he is willing. He will make clean everyone who comes to him in humble repentance and faith.
I love the fact, that Jesus stretches out his hand to touch him. The word touch has as its root “to cling” or “adhere to.” So this is a loving, relational touch. Probably an embrace. And in time, Jesus stretches out his hands and dies on a cross, that we might know the embrace of a loving God who makes us clean through the blood of his cross! Jesus takes our uncleanness and is treated as the outcast – despised and rejected, so that we would not be. We who are spiritual lepers are no longer outcasts, but welcomed into the family of God – cleansed and made whole!
The leper could not go to the temple of God – so God brought his presence to him, in the Person of Jesus. And in Jesus, we are no longer separated from God and the community of God’s people. May you see the leper’s story as your own story.]Categories: Blog