Yesterday, we started this story from Matthew 8 about a bold leper who came up to Jesus asking to be made clean. We continue with verse 3:
Matthew 8:3 says this: “Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Jesus reaches out and touches the man. He didn’t need to touch the leprous man in order to heal him. In the following verses, Matthew will report of a time when Jesus healed a paralyzed man without even seeing him. Jesus chooses to touch this man with leprosy, an act that technically violated the law of Moses (Leviticus 5:3) and would have made Jesus ceremonially unclean Himself, within the context of Jewish law. It would also have been deeply shocking to anyone watching.
Jesus did not become unclean, however: the man’s condition instantly vanished after being touched by Jesus. In healing this man of this disease, Jesus showed that He carried the power of God. This is the same power that both afflicted and healed Miriam after Israel left Egypt (Numbers 12:10–15). Christ showed that He was even more powerful than Elisha, who prescribed multiple washings in the Jordan River in order to heal Naaman’s leprosy (2 Kings 5:9–14). Jesus accomplished the same with a word and a touch.
It’s incredible to see Jesus take tradition and flip it on it’s back. As we roll through these next chapters we’ll see His incredibly radical way of changing the world and the perception of the law.
The point about the touch is very important. Jesus chose to touch this man to show that He carried the power of God. To once again show the people that He is indeed the Son of God walking the earth. Incredible.