In order to paint a more vivid picture of Jesus, allow me, if you will, to tell you a short story that might give you more of a defined picture of who Jesus is, and who He was. I’m going to base this story on the account in Mark chapter 1:40-45, the story of the leper. However, I am going to tell it in my own words in order to draw on your emotion to provide you with a more clear and concise picture of how it might have happened. Gather around, relax, and listen as I take you many years ago to a small town where Jesus is performing miracles of love and faith. You, the reader, are going to be in the crowd watching and listening, experiencing the emotion.
A Touch of Jesus
A Subheading From Book Two In the Martyrdom Trilogy, Soul Collector ©2012 Lyn Leahz
“Is this a dream, because if it is, why do I still feel like a pregnant woman about to give birth?” She looked down at herself, draped in a long pale blue robe with brown leather sandals on her feet, her head covered with a matching headdress to shade her from the hot sun.
Khalid was wearing a white tunic made of linen that came down to his knees, which was tied around his waist with a sash. On his feet were also a pair of leather sandals similar to Krista’s.
The setting was early afternoon in a small town somewhere in Israel—Galilee, Nazareth, they weren’t sure which. Sandy roads twisted this way and that, with ornate buildings made of pale stone bricks—from gray to off white. People hurriedly hustled and bustled on foot, headed in every direction, stopping at the many marketplaces to purchase fruit, vegetables, livestock, fish, pottery, olive oil, fabrics, spices, perfumes—anything anyone could possibly need.
“Khalid, where on earth are we? What’s going on?” She was somewhere in between confused and dumbfounded as she gazed at Khalid’s stylish outfit with a big grin on her face.
She teased, “Wow, that outfit really suits you, do you think you could start wearing clothes like this more often? Just looking at you is making me overheat, and it’s already hot enough out here!” She fanned herself with her hand as she teased him.
Khalid looked down at himself and smiled, “Yes, this is not very attractive, and it appears I grossly failed to wax my legs this morning! How was I to know anyone would see them?” He joked back with her while stretching out one of his masculine hair covered legs.
He continued, more serious now, “It appears we are in ancient Galilee, around the time of Jesus Christ, though I’m not absolutely sure. How we are here, I do not know.” They started walking, unsure where they were going, but they walked. Krista bumped into an older woman carrying a clay pot and apologized immediately; the woman yelled something at her she didn’t understand.
They passed poor people and wealthy people; some appeared filthy wearing torn rags, and some appeared pious, decked out in long ornate robes and embroidered headdresses.
They turned the corner and took an alleyway between two stone buildings, which led to another opening where there were more townspeople rushing to and fro, when they spotted a man who looked similar to all of the other men, yet different.
People were crowding all around him, watching and whispering; some were walking back and forth on their tip-toes to get a peek, trying to press themselves in between people, but having little to no success. Strangely, Krista and Khalid walked right up to the front of the crowd, somewhat off to the side.
There was a hideous looking young man kneeling before another man who looked like Jesus, except darker skinned, and with more distinctive facial features that would suggest he was from the Middle East. If this was Jesus, He didn’t look like the beautiful, effeminate man everyone portrayed Him to be. He had quite a bit of facial hair, and dark hair on His head, intensely dark eyes, was somewhat muscular, and clad in a knee-length tunic like Khalid’s as opposed to the long floor length robe He was always shown wearing in paintings. His nose was on the bigger side of average, and his lips quite a bit thicker than what was illustrated.
The young man kneeling before Him was filthy and covered in repulsive sores from head to toe, over half of his teeth missing, and his hair glued together in clumps from a lack of hygiene and self-care. His hands, and part of his arms, were wrapped in a cloth that had once been white, though was now stained with dried blood and dirt. He wore a crude outfit which looked similar to itchy burlap, and it was torn. Part of the young man’s face had been covered, and he had pulled the cloth away so he could speak. What was even stranger was that Krista and Khalid could hear everyone speaking in English.
They overheard people talking amongst themselves; a man whispered to a woman standing next to her, “This young man is both unclean and diseased—is this radical Jew ignorant to stand so close to him? He will catch the boils and the lice from off of him! And besides, who could stand so close when I can smell the young man’s putrid stench from way over here!”
The young man fell on his face before this Jesus looking gentleman and bitterly wept, “Oh great healer, I live my life in pain and am nothing but a revolting festering sore to people who flee from me all the day long! I am required to make a spectacle of myself wherever I go, crying out loudly, ‘I’m unclean! I’m unclean!’ A moment does not pass without the flies and maggots crawling about my rotten flesh; and the itching and pain I suffer is driving me mad! I implore you to have pity on me; for it would have been better had I never seen the light of day at birth—for what life is there for me if I must live as this? The power is within your hands to make me well my Lord…if only you wanted to!” He pressed his face into the dirt and began kissing Jesus’ feet as he bitterly wept.
There was a low rumble in the crowd, “I can’t believe he’s letting this man touch him! Does he not know he will become like him? For it is vile and unclean to even look upon a leper as this and not corrupt oneself! The laws of Moses strictly command that we not touch a leper or else we make ourselves unclean as well!”
There was great commotion among the large group as people began spitting and yelling at the leper. One man, who appeared to be either a Pharisee or a Sadducee, shouted, “Go away leper, you are breaking the law and causing this man to sin before God! God has condemned your parents for their sins through you, and you are to stay away from people and proclaim yourself unclean! How dare you stand so close to others infecting them with your rotten corruption!”
Jesus turned to the crowd and held up His hands. “Do you people have no pity on the less fortunate? How many of you have festering, filthy sores in your hearts? You believe them to be hidden because other’s cannot see or smell your corrupt souls! Behold, I tell you the truth today—God looks upon the heart of man, and He sees the rottenness and corruption you secretly hide! Is God not a God of love that we should condemn this boy to a life of misery? Certainly not!” Everyone sensed His authority, and so they refrained from saying another word, silently standing by.
The young man repeated himself, his voice mixed with confidence and humility. He fixed his pleading eyes solely on Jesus, not paying any attention to the crowd of angry spectators. “If even for one day I could experience life as a normal man, and not as a piece of reeking toppled garbage, even this would bring me much joy! You have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”
Jesus squatted down and placed his hand on the young man’s cheek, gently wiping his tears clean away with His thumb. The young man flinched at first, both afraid and surprised, for he hadn’t felt the human touch upon his skin since he was very young.
With a great deal of compassion and sincerity, Jesus looked the man in the eye, speaking softly, yet with authority, now cradling the side of the young man’s head within His hand.
“But young man, I do want to,more than you can even begin to conceive!” Jesus closed His eyes for only a brief moment as He uttered words no one could hear, when finally, He spoke once again. The crowd was so quiet you could hear a pin drop to the ground as everyone strained to listen to all that was being said, staring fixedly, not wanting to miss a single thing.
Jesus grinned with a smile that stretched across His face, his countenance glowing brightly. “Now you are well! Arise to your feet and be clean!” Jesus stood up, extending his arm to help the young man to his feet.
They were standing face to face as Jesus instructed him. “But you mustn’t tell anyone about this, only go to the Priest to show him you are healed. After you have done this, take a gift to the temple as Moses commanded, then everyone will know that you have been made well!”
Everyone watched in utter disbelief and awe, for they’d seen this young man with the leprosy for many years now, proclaiming, ‘I’m unclean! I’m unclean!’However, right before their very eyes, boils and sores disappeared all at once!
They heard one woman say, “Certainly this man is the Messiah sent by God come to save His people!”
Immediately following the woman’s comment, one of the religious men arrogantly remarked, “We must stop this man from these things! No one sent by God would break the laws of God delivered to us by Moses! He is a wicked blasphemer causing the people to abandon their beliefs, and soon they will begin to disobey the commandments and holy ordinances set forth by Jehovah!”