Last week we looked at things we could learn from the man who fell at Jesus’s feet, seeking healing from his leprosy. As Christ’s representatives on earth, we have a great responsibility, and there are several important lessons we as a body of believers can learn from Jesus’s response to the man.
When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:1-3 (NKJV)
1. See the individual.
Society saw a label – leper, and it had become the man’s defining identity. Jesus looked beyond the label. He wasn’t just “a leper”. He was a human being with a dreaded disease. Jesus recognized all the implications leprosy carried with it and He felt a deep compassion for the man’s suffering.
It is often easy to see people as a “type.” This allows us to maintain a distance, physically, emotionally and spiritually. However, that goes against our call. We need to see others with the eyes of love just as Christ did.
2. Realize no one is untouchable.
One of the most shocking acts in this short account was the moment Jesus touched the man. It was scandalous. You can almost hear the crowd gasping. In doing so, He identified Himself with the man, still at the mercy of the disease ravaging him.
We must not be like the Pharisees, who saw themselves as gatekeepers, determining who was worthy of God’s mercy and who was not. No one is beyond the reach of the Gospel.
3. Be willing.
Jesus didn’t turn away. He didn’t cite His schedule. He didn’t claim it was best to use His resources to minister to crowd rather than to focus on one individual. He was willing to meet the man at the point of his need.
We must be willing to minister to everyone God brings our way, recognizing divine appointments in each meeting.
What do you think prevents believers from responding like Jesus did?