This week I will speak on, “Jesus on Mission to a Leper.” One of the things that impresses me about this encounter from Jesus’ life is his tenderness. In the ancient world, and today, no one touches a leper. Leprosy is a disease that has no cure and is highly contagious. Lepers were completely isolated from the community. They had no opportunity to experience human touch.
When the leper presented himself to Jesus, the response from Christ was compassion. Rather than recoil in horror as most did in that situation, Jesus pressed in and touched the untouchable leper with great tenderness. “If you are willing,” the leper respectfully said to Jesus, “you can make me clean.” Jesus response, “I am willing. Be clean.” Instantly every trace of leprosy vanished from this man. Leprosy was and is an incurable disease. However, it does not stand a chance when Jesus speaks the word. His power is incomparable. He literally had his life back again.
This is a beautiful combination of compassion, tenderness, and power.
The tenderness of God is described in other ways in the Scripture that help paint a vivd picture::
- He is a father to the fatherless
- He is a defender of widows
- He places the lonely in families
- He sets the prisoner free
- He gives joy to the sad
- He is close to the brokenhearted
- He rescues those who are crushed in spirit
- He collects all our tears in a bottle.
What a mighty God! What a tender Savior! What a compassionate King!