The scripture for today, August 2 (8/2), is Matthew 8:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.’ “
People in Jesus’ day who had leprosy had to live outside of town in what we would call a leper colony. They were incurable. And if someone without leprosy started getting close to them, they were required to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!”
But here was a man who apparently sneaked into town where he didn’t belong, went up and down streets where he didn’t belong looking for Jesus, pushed his way through a crowd where he didn’t belong.
Once he found Jesus, he didn’t ask him if he could heal him; he asked if he would. After all, he was “unclean”. Remarkably, Jesus said yes.
Then Jesus did another remarkable thing: He touched the man. He touched the leprosy. Not only was he willing to be seen with an unclean man, and have a conversation with an unclean man, he was willing to touch the unclean man.
Jesus still does this today. When you come to him with a diseased heart wondering if you are good enough, Jesus reaches out across the centuries and touches you. And his voice echoes across those centuries ~ “I am willing.”
No matter how much sin mars your life, Jesus still today wants to touch your incurable heart and say, “Be clean.”
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