This week I read a quote on one of my current favorite blogs, Live and Learn, by David Kanigan:
The skin hungers for touch, from cradle to grave. “Close silence—that’s all they need,” she whispered to me. (Kelly Corrigan, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I Am Learning to Say, January 9, 2018)
Thinking about this hunger for touch reminded me of the story Mark tells of Jesus healing the man with leprosy.
The Greek word is splagcnizomai. Bible Study Tool (online site) gives the definition: to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).
Knowing this, it troubled me when the NIV translates the word as “indignant” and the footnote in the NLT states that some translations use, “moved by anger.” Righteous anger might be indicate if one considers the ostracization of this man because of his condition.
Standard protocol would dictate that Jesus would give the verbal healing before he touched the man—but that’s just not how Jesus worked.
Could there possibly be anything this man needed more than physical healing?
How about human compassion and contact…touch.
Oh, the difference that’s made by the touch of the master’s hand.