I spent a lot of my early Christian walk hiding the areas of brokenness of which I was most ashamed. It was like I believed the worst stuff would go away if I simply didn’t acknowledge it. All it did, however, was cover up the symptoms until my issues bubbled to the surface, causing me to sink into shame. But over the years, the Lord spoke a lot of comfort to me with this Bible story about a man who was seen as unapproachable.
In three of the Gospels, we learn about a guy with leprosy who comes to Jesus and says, “If You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean” (Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16). In response, Jesus does something interesting, and it’s recorded in each account: He touches the man. While touching a person with leprosy may seem like a nice, humanitarian gesture to the us, it was probably scandalous for Jesus.
As theologian Matthew Henry explains in his commentary, as a matter of law, Jesus made Himself unclean when He touched someone with leprosy. But that didn’t stop Him. He didn’t have anything to worry about.
Henry points out that Jesus wasn’t in danger of being infected by the man’s brokenness. Jesus was the contagious one. His goodness and righteousness infected anyone who opened up to Him. And with just one touch, the man’s leprosy was gone.
You probably don’t have leprosy, but there are plenty of other things that make us feel unclean. Maybe, for you, it’s an addictive behavior, an unforgettable experience with childhood abuse, a failure at work, or a relationship that’s damaged because of mistakes you made. You might not want to reveal it, talk about it, or otherwise deal with it; but hiding it only masks the symptoms.
Jesus wants to touch that very part of you. He’s not afraid of it; and besides, He already knows about it anyway, so He’s not going to think any less of you for it.
After you show Him your brokenness, you can pray this simple prayer: “If You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean.” He is willing, and in the end, the most broken parts of your life will be what reveals His glory in you most beautifully.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV).