November 18, 2007

Who Can You Touch Today?

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.
Matthew 8:3


I read about a man named Fredrich Christian Karl von Bodelschwingh. That's not an easy name to say, but we can easily remember what he did.

Fredrich lived in Germany during the late 1800s, when a depression had produced many unemployed people, beggars, and thieves. He founded a home for the homeless that served many of these people. The government recognized the value of what he was doing and sent an official to give him an award.

The ceremony was interrupted when several people came seeking shelter. Fredrich embraced them. The official refused to shake hands with them for fear of the germs they might carry. Fredrich said, "On Judgment Day I would rather have my Lord finding me with some of their lice than wearing an award given to me by my government."

Leprosy was a terrible disease in Jesus' day. But Jesus "reached out his hand" to touch and heal a man who had leprosy. Today the nail-scarred hands of Jesus still reach out to people that repulse me. In fact, those hands have reached out to me, though I am polluted by sin.

Today is Sunday. Jesus, who alone can make you whole, is reaching out to you. May that good news not only cause you to lift up your hands to rejoice in God's goodness but also to reach out to others in Jesus' name.

Father, we thank you for coming near to us in your Son, Jesus. Lord Jesus, thank you for reaching out to us and making us whole. May we reach out to others in your name. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!