April 5 I Tuesday
1 Samuel 1-3
“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the open coffin…” —Luke 7:13-14, NKJV
As we revisit Jesus’s encounter with the widow and her dead son, Scripture tells us, “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her.” Jesus, seeing the widow in her distress, was filled with compassion. This is because God is not distant and impersonal but One who wants to be up close and personal.
Jesus’s compassion moved Him into action and He did something that would have been considered scandalous in New Testament times: He walked up and touched the coffin. According to the Old Testament law, what Jesus did would have rendered Him unclean: “Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days” (Numbers 19:11). We may think, because something is unclean, we had better distance ourselves from it and not allow any unclean things to contaminate our lives. We may even get this purity theology that starts expressing itself in our lives; if we allow it to fully mature, we may suddenly realize that we do not have any friends or relationships with anyone except Christians.
Yet, if we surveyed Jesus’s healing ministry, we find in almost all occasions He was touching—the leper, the blind, the sick, the lame or the dead—unclean people. Why? Because Jesus was ushering in a whole new covenant—where the law could only pronounce one unclean, Jesus could restore one back to cleanliness. When the clean touches the unclean, the clean does not become unclean but what was unclean becomes clean.
Jesus is the only one who can usher in a new covenant that transforms what was unclean into something clean because He is willing to associate, get up close and touch the unclean of our world. We do not serve a God who is distancing Himself from the hurting or the broken of our world; rather, we serve One who comes and fully immerses Himself in it, redeems it and transforms it. Paul tells us, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When we observe Jesus in the Gospels, He, who is clean, is constantly going to those who are unclean. In fact, He also sends His disciples, like sheep among wolves, into difficult, trying and unclean situations. If we are found in Christ, we are, therefore, members of His body and have the responsibility to touch a hurting world. Like Jesus, may we be up close and personal, willing to touch the unclean with the transforming message of Jesus that our world needs.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for touching my unclean life and making it clean. Open my heart and the willingness to associate with unclean people in this world and share Your transforming message. Praise You!