Friday, January 02, 2009

In the following quote by Chrysostom, he is referring to the leper who came to Jesus saying, ‘if thou will, Thou canst make me clean.’ Chrysostom brings out some interesting points surrounding his response in word and action –

“But Jesus did not merely say, “I will, be thou clean,” but He also “put forth His hand, and touched him;” a thing especially worthy of inquiry. For then why after cleansing him by His will and word, did He add also the touch of His hand?
It seems to me, for no other purpose, but that He might signify by this that He is not subject to the law, but is set over it; and that to the clean, henceforth, nothing is unclean. For this cause we see Elisha did not so much as see Naaman, but though he perceived that he was offended at his not coming out and touching him, thereby observing the strictness of the law, he abides at home, and sends him to Jordan to wash. Whereas the Lord, to signify that He heals not as a servant, but as absolute master, does also touch. For His hand became not unclean from the leprosy, but the leprous body was rendered clean by His holy hand.”

In another place Jesus uses His own saliva to heal the blind man; this too was forbidden by the law for sanitary purposes. Somehow that always touched me, it made me wonder at the purity of Christ not only in spirit but in body, that His saliva gives sight and His blood cleanses sin. Such mystery, such glory.

I also thought that there may be some instruction for us, in principle, in the way Jesus worked; He had the will to serve, the word for power, and the touch for loving.

Picture taken from the Internet


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Very deep analysis of Jesus's actions.

A touch also makes us close to the person and the other person feels happy. Very often we don't touch to show affection, love, sympathy, kindness, empathy. We merely say it with words. If we touch, the words have double impact on the other person.

These are just my thoughts on your excellent post.

Best wishes :)

fcb4 said...

The law in most cases was a law of sepperation, grace manifested himself as one who brings together. One divides, one unites. One comes close, one stays away. One takes on flesh, one won't touch it. On and on the glory of the new covenant goes.

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
I so agree with your comments about touch. It is similar in power to the smile. Simple actions that disarm and like you say, have double impact.
God bless,

Hi Eric,
That's an interesting observation as well; I wonder if the law was intended to cause that seperation or not? Beats me, but I love the
"glory of the new covenant".
Love Dad