Picture in your mind this scene from Mark 1:40-45…a man suffering from leprosy is approaching Jesus. His disease is highly contagious and has left him with skin, muscles and bones simply sloughing off his body. The treatment of the day was simply to isolate those with the disease. It’s possible that no one had touched him in years. Yet Jesus reached out and touched him and healed him. He was not infected by the man’s leprosy. Jesus was more “contagious” with the power of God than the leper was contagious with his leprosy.
While no Christian should be surprised by what Jesus did in this story, what we should be asking ourselves is, “Am I that kind of contagious Christian?” And, if not, why not? Have I ruled out some people–sure that they would resist the “Good News”? Can I honestly believe that some are so far from God that there is no hope of salvation for them? Jesus reached out to tax collectors, lepers, Gentiles–all kinds of sinners that the established religion of the day had given up on. Romans 10:14 asks, “How can they hear, unless someone tells them?” Talk to those members of your family, the people you work with, the waitress at your favorite restaurant, the person who cuts your hair, people at your health club, your neighbors. Talk to them to develop a relationship. People are more apt to listen to someone who they trust. Be the hands and feet of Jesus and do what He did–befriend people who don’t know God. Never rule out anyone. You never know when their heart will soften or how God’s Spirit will work. When you extend your hand to someone else, you continue the process begun two thousand years ago by believers who reach out and bring people to Christ.