Luke 5:12-16 (CEB)

12 Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean.” Instantly, the skin disease left him. 14 Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Instead,” Jesus said, “go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them.” 15 News of him spread even more and huge crowds gathered to listen and to be healed from their illnesses. 16 But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer.


The miracles of Jesus can be some of the most powerful, and most complicated texts in scripture to navigate. In one respect, they display the divinity of Christ. In other ways, they open questions like:

Why are some healed and others not?

What does healing say about bodies that are ill or disabled?

Today’s text may seem like any other healing, but there’s an interesting element to it – because of Jesus healing someone, He now can’t do something else. What do I mean? Jesus heals the man’s skin disease (notice it doesn’t necessarily say leprosy, that is because many skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or even extreme acne were probably incorrectly characterized as leprosy at that time in history), but because of this healing, crowds became too big, and Jesus then couldn’t walk freely around town and had to slip away. Why is this significant?

I’d argue that the healings performed by Jesus have much less to do with “restoring the body” as they do with restoring one’s relationship to society. God is a relational God and so we are created as relational beings. It hurts God when society excludes or ostracizes certain people – everyone should be included. So, when Jesus heals someone who has been excluded from society because of their disability, the goal is a rightful restoration with a broken society – not that the body is wrong in any way.

And because Jesus restores someone’s place in society, Jesus then loses His place. That’s a God of all-encompassing love.

by Rachel Callender

For Pondering & Prayer

How have you interacted with/read the healings of Jesus before? How have they spoken to you? Have they spoken to you? Is there something new in God’s Word today?

Prayer: God of healing, what You long for is for us all to be welcome into Your kingdom. May we offer Your healing touch out in the world so that all may know Your love. Amen.