Jesus the Greatest Rebel
During Covid, we had to isolate from each other. It was difficult.
In Jesus’ day, people with leprosy were regarded as unclean. They had to isolate from everyone else. They had to leave their families and live outside of town. There were no hugs, no shaking hands, no cuddles, no contact.
If someone came near, they had to cover their mouths and yell: “Unclean! Unclean!” (Leviticus 13:45-46) If you touched a person with leprosy, you would become unclean. You’d need to confess your uncleanness and make sacrifices to become clean again. These were the rules.
But Jesus breaks these rules. In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. (Luke 5:12-13a NLT). People watching would have been shocked! “He’s broken the rules! He’s touched an untouchable! Jesus is now unclean!” Jesus could have healed the man without touching him. Yet by touching the man, Jesus loves and accepts him as a fellow human being! Jesus heals his broken heart.
Then Jesus heals his broken body. “I am willing, he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. (Luke 5:13b NLT) Jesus tells him to go to the priest to get his health certificate. Now the man is clean, he can go home to his family. He can return to work. He can join in family and community life again.
At the cross, Jesus’ dealt with everything that makes us unclean in God’s eyes.
- He took on himself all our garbage; and gave us all his goodness.
- He took the blame for our sin; and gave us his righteousness.
- He took our place of death; and gave us a share in his resurrection life.
Through this amazing swap, God forgives us and makes us his children. Jesus is Good News for all who feel unclean. Jesus makes us clean and right with God.
Pastor Rolly Stahl