And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Matthew 8:2-3)
Hands say a lot about a person. A man who works the fields farming has rough hands worn from years of hard labor and toil. Surgeons have strong delicate hands (and very clean) allowing them to perform intricate surgeries. Pianist amaze with the dexterity of fingers producing masterful pieces of symphony. I find a wealth of stories in looking at hands because of all parts of the body this is one area where so much of life goes on. Jesus had beautiful strong hands. As we begin a new day today and look to the rest of the week let’s think about the hands of our Lord.
Lepers were outcast. The most horrible part of the disease was the isolation caused by physical rejection by everyone including family. God created man to be in companionship with others. We need one another. Touch is one of the first sensations we discover in life that brings soothing comfort and security. Leprosy takes all that away. When Jesus reached out his hand and touched the leper it was a need this poor beggar had longed for almost more than anything. Jesus touched him.
Children were brought to Jesus but the disciples forbade the parents. The Lord rebuked His overzealous disciples telling them He loved the little ones and they were important to the Son of God. He put his hands on children and blessed them.
The apostle Peter astonished everyone when he stepped out of the boat and walked on water. His faith was letting him do the impossible. But then he began to be fearful and saw how boisterous the storm was. Sinking he cried out to Jesus and the Lord reached out His hand and saved Peter.
One of the images I have of Heaven is what it will be like to see the hands of Jesus. I understand this is only meant in a metaphorical sense but the image is what helps me in my day. We all shared the spiritual leprosy of sin but Jesus reached out His hands and touched us to be clean. His hands were nailed to a cross so that He could take my sins away. He touched me to heal me. Life is filled with times I need Jesus to touch me like He did the children. He might rustle my hair, pinch my nose or do whatever we adults do to children but I love the comfort of my older brother’s hand in my life. And finally when my faith fills with fear from the storms of life I know His hand will reach out and save me.
As you go through this new week take hold of the hand of Jesus and let Him take care of you. While He is holding you take a good look at that nail scarred hand and see what the Son of God did for you. The scar is still there because His love is still there. Thank you God for sending Your Son to die for me and to give me His hand.
By the wood of the cross the work of the word of God was made manifest to all; His hands are stretched out to gather all men together. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, c. 175)