Compassion Touches the Untouchable
Written by Nick Costello   

CapIn ancient times, lepers lived in isolation secluded in a leper colony. Family and friends could not visit, the disease was too contagious. A desperate mother longing to hug her child could only hug with her eyes from a distance. They were heartbreaking to see, their only friendships cultivated among each other, a makeshift, desolate, dying family.

Their lives were…without hope...without love...without even the simplest of joys.

Leprosy is a terrible disease. It consumes your body transforming your appearance into such as a pale cadaver lying dead in the morgue, covered in crusty scales and puss oozing sores. The disease deteriorates your nerve endings. You feel no pain; therefore you can break a toe, cut a finger, completely lose a limb and never feel the damage while creeping towards a slow, torturous, inevitable death.

Lepers were outcasts. The laws stated that anyone passing a leper on the street must stay six feet away and shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” Children ran from them, threw stones at them, and mocked them.  They suffered from rejection, shame, guilt and no hope of being cured. They were in a constant state of torment in their zombie-like existence.

The Bible speaks of one such suffering soul, a mere common leper:

The leper woke up every day in the same old cave and monotonous life. But, today, today was going to be different. The miracle worker Jesus was in town. Excitement filled the air. News of miracles spread like wildfire throughout the town. “He’s here! He heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, the deaf hear and the lame walk! He raises the dead back to life!”

Crowds engulfed Jesus, anxious to see and touch Him. The leper’s heart skipped a beat. A never before seen twinkle appeared in his eye as hope for a miracle rose up within him. As Jesus moved closer, his hope increased. Silently, he determined, “I must see Jesus! I need a miracle!” (What about you, are you looking for a miracle?)

Hiding beneath his garments and hobbling on crippled legs, the leper risked being crushed by the crowd as he walked to a spot on the curb to wait for Jesus to pass by. He could barely see, but as shouts of excitement reached his ears, he knew Jesus was near, healing people in His path.
“I must touch Jesus! I must,” he thought. Suddenly the crowd, once moving like flood waters, broke open. Jesus stood before him. It was as if Jesus stopped just for the leper. (Hey friend, that same Jesus is before you right now, even as you read this article. He’s intentionally stopped before you.)

The leper crept into the busy street, fell on his knees before Jesus, looked up and begged for a miracle. ”If you want to, you can make me well again.” Dead silence filled the air. Onlookers held their breath and stared. They wondered what Jesus would do.
No one dared to speak to a leper, let alone touch them. Looking down at the shell of a once healthy young man, Jesus saw sunken tear-filled eyes, a sun-beaten, wrinkled face, oozing sores, perhaps some missing fingers. Shame and guilt haunted the leper’s mind. Like a wilted flower in a garden, he was shriveled up and ready to die. Jesus felt the leper’s pain. His heart broke for him.

The crowd gasped as Jesus slowly reached out to touch the leper, “No, don’t touch him!” they shouted. Jesus’ only focus was on that desperate, lonely leper. Moved with love and compassion, Jesus said, “I want to. Be healed.” Instantly the leprosy disappeared and the man was healed. From rejection to rejoicing, he ran throughout town praising Jesus and telling everyone what happened. (Mark 1:40-45) (Did you know that Jesus still performs miracles today?)

CrowdBkg“Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus gives hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, heals the sick, mends broken hearts and restores ruined lives. “Everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

Even today, people walk the streets feeling like a leper. No one shakes their hand, hugs them or kisses their cheek. No one dares associate with them. They’re ridiculed, rejected, lonely, robbed of dignity and what little life they have. They’re never treated as special, important or of value. Even if not to that extreme, many of us still feel like outcasts. Hopeless. (Has life hit you so painfully hard, you feel like a walking dead person? There’s hope for you.)

Just as Jesus reached out to touch the leper, he’s reaching out to touch your heart and life today. He says, “I love you. I care about you. I understand what you’re going through. I want to help you.” You may long to ask him, “Can you heal my heart, my life and give me a new start?” Jesus says, “I’m willing, I want to, I can!” Friend, don’t hesitate. Through this magazine, Jesus is reaching out to you right now. Take His hand. Surrender control of your life to Him. The Bible says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) In your own words tell Jesus you believe in Him, who He is, and give Him control of your whole life!

If you made that your prayer today, please email and let us know of your decision. We want to hear from you. God bless you. PivotPointEndingBug
Email Nick at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NickCostelloNick Costello
Former secular rock star Nick Costello  is a graduate of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and the Billy Graham North American Institute for Emerging Evangelists. His ministry mission focus is “Making Champions for God.”  NickCostello.org

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