And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. 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.
And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them." But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
Probably for the first time since he was struck with leprosy this man felt the touch of another human being. That in itself had to be healing. Yet the touch was not a simple display of pity but an expression of the power and desire of God to heal. When a word would have sufficed to heal this man of leprosy Jesus went a step further. The method of healing was so important because of the way that lepers were ostracized from the community.
Interesting how Jesus knew that the news of this healing would hinder his ability to operate freely inside the city limits. I wonder if there were many hurting lepers in that region? I think that it would have been almost impossible to keep quiet about such a miraculous healing. People who knew him would have noticed that leprosy no longer ravaged his body. Perhaps it was lepers who came after Jesus longing to hear the words I will; be clean.
Lord, open my eyes to those around me today who need your touch and mine.