While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
I am deeply moved as I read this passage. Imagine with me, if you will, a man in pain and full of leprosy falling down before the Lord pleading for help. His words are so moving. I can imagine the compassion on the face of the Son of God as he stretched forth his hand to touch one who is deemed untouchable by the law. Jesus was unafraid of becoming unclean himself through this contact and showed amazing courage in this healing.
Yet his concern was not for his fame but for the man's relationship with God and his community. The easy thing to tell the man was that he was healed and needed to be an itinerant witness for Christ. The harder thing was to tell him to go back and be a witness to the priest and all of those in the synagogue of God's mercy. Perhaps Christ saw something in the man that needed further healing? Or perhaps the priest needed encouragement?
Cleanse my mind this day Lord that I too might be a witness of your mercy.