Mark 1:40-42 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
The human touch is a powerful thing. It can be a source of great comfort and encouragement or it can be a source of violence. In the above passage, Jesus reached down and touched a leper that came to him, and healed him. The Bible tells us that Christ was moved with compassion, there was an action associated with the feeling pity on the man. Leprosy is a very contagious disease, this man had probably not felt the touch of another person for a long time. Yet, here is the God of the universe reaching down to touch him. Jesus could have spoken and the man would have been healed, but He chose to put His hand out and show compassion for this leper by touching him.
We do not possess the power to heal someone’s disease, we do however, have the power to show compassion through our touch. Holding a hand during a time of trial, touching a shoulder, an appropriate hug when needed, can be a comfort to someone that is hurting.
I will never forget teaching a Sunday School class of first grade boys years ago. I use my hands to talk, as most of us do, and when I raised my hand as I was talking, a boy sitting next to me instinctively ducked, as if, he was avoiding being hit. I remember thinking, that this young man only knew a touch of violence, It broke my heart to think that he was worried about being hit, rather than being hugged.
The human touch is a powerful thing. We can encourage people with a proper touch, or we can tear someone down with a touch of violence. Let’s strive to be like Jesus and distribute a touch of compassion to others today. It truly is a powerful thing.