In what is famously known as the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5 – 7), Jesus acknowledged that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5: 17 – 18). In the narrative that followed directly after this sermon, Jesus seemed to ignore Old Testament Purity Laws (Leviticus 12 – 15) by touching and healing a leper (Matthew 8: 1 – 3). Also, Jesus did not go into quarantine nor did He undergo any purification rites after touching this man. However, once the leper was healed, Jesus instructed him not to say a word to anyone but to go and show himself to the priest with the required sacrifice (Matthew 8: 4).
There are many times in scripture where Jesus touched the untouchable. Many times in scripture, there were those who were expected to distance themselves from the rest of society (the 10 lepers, the woman with the flow of blood, the sinful woman), but Jesus allowed them to come near him and touch him. Jesus spent time with people, He visited them, He ate with them in their own home, He cried with them and shared their pain: Jesus was able to touch and connect with people on a personal level. There is power in human touch, human connection, and human proximity; the lack thereof can be detrimental to our overall health and humanity. Life was designed to live together. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 becoming more fatal and a lack of vaccine, all health experts and world leaders are mandating social distancing in order to mitigate the spread and keep people safe. It is important that we carefully listen to these experts and actively contribute to the fight against this pandemic.
However, I believe we still need each other, more than ever. We still need human connections and conversations in order to thrive and maintain our humanity. When this fight is over, and it will be over, things will take time to get back to normal but “We can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives us strength” (Phil 4: 13). Although we may not be able to be in close proximity to enjoy the benefits of the human touch, a firm handshake, the comforting beauty of a smile, and the warmth of a hug, we can still rejoice and be grateful for the many technological platforms we have at our disposal to help maintain our fellowship, worship, and connection. No matter how far apart we are from each other, let us not lose that human touch, which is the quality of being friendly, personable, and kind towards each other.
“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.Some of the traveling teachersrecently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. I could have no greater joy than to hear that you are following the truth.” (3 John 1: 2 – 4, NLT).