Jesus healing of the leper in Mark 1 is one of my favorite stories. Ive traveled to third world countries and seen the ways lepers are treated and feared. In Jesus day, their life was much worse! So when a leper came to Jesus for healing, Jesus did something even more remarkable. Filled with compassion, Jesus touched the leper, then healed him.
Remember the fear in the early days of AIDSpeople were scared to death to even go anywhere near someone who was HIV+. Lepers were the people with AIDS in Jesus day. So Jesus physical touch was as important to the leper as the healing. God was willing to expose himself to leprosy! Wow!
This one event is what the manger story of Immanuel, God with us, is all about. Unwilling to leave us lost, God chose to cover the distance between us and himself by becoming flesh. He did this in the most remarkable way. He didnt come to visit as a full grown human being, instead he chose to be carried in the womb of a woman, subjected to dangers and disease as a baby, and the challenges of childhood. Then, after three decades preparing to serve, he ministered lovingly only to be rejected and murdered on Calvary by the people he created. God exposed himself to our leprosy and was even willing to die for us to cure its cause.
Dont forget the daring grit of God and his reckless love to redeem you.|
Much more than precious, the story of the Nativity is power, risk, and love colliding in the lives of Joseph and Mary and Jesus. Dont miss the touch of God in this story. In Jesus, God begins and ends his life among us with wood so real we could rub it and get a splinter. This salvation is anchored to the real world of sin, death, rejection, fear, and jealousy. Yet Gods love triumphs with joy, praise, and life.
In the sentimentality of this holiday time, dont forget the daring grit of God and his reckless love to redeem you. Nothing is more important. When you are grasped by it, you will find yourself healed of a bigger disease than the dreaded leprosy and in love with the Creator of the universe who asks you to call him Abba Father!