Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” (Mark 1:41)
The ghastly label of leper was his sole identification, for we are not privy to his name or the city of his origin. Banished from society, his kind would not presume to scale the lowest rung of the crudest ladder of that day.
Whisperings about the Christ who commanded evil spirits to obey and diseases to evaporate had filtered through the streets, down the alleyways, and slipped inside the cracks of the leprosy barracks where he hid. All the sick brought to Jesus’ doorway in Capernaum were healed (Mark 1:33-‐34). Surely, there was room for one more.
With the heroic courage of a warrior fighting for his own existence, the leper bent his knees and begged, “If you will, you can make me clean” (Mark 1:40). I know what you are capable of; I grasp the fact that you do the impossible, but I am uncertain if I am even worthy of your power.”
Three of the Gospels distinctly record that Christ, “stretched out his hand and touched him.” Before cleansing his diseased skin, the all-compassionate Savior healed the scars inside the man left from his years of imprisonment within the confines of leprosy. The Great Physician is the Good Shepherd who carries lambs close to his heart, even the blemished ones no one else considers valuable.
The God we serve sees beyond our seeping wounds and never recoils from our imperfections. Our staggering loads never stump the Savior. His powerful hands are capable of handling them; his tender heart moves to make us whole.