Lepers were to be treated as though they were dead. You took them to the edge of town and you left them there. And yet Jesus touches the untouchable. Who needs our touch?
Jesus the Rule Breaker
In the story of Jesus healing a leper in Luke 5:12-16, we hear the man begging Jesus, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Verse 13 tells us of Jesus’ response. “And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately, the leprosy left him.”
Anyone reading the story in that culture would have been shocked, not by the healing, but by Jesus doing something that was absolutely forbidden. He touched the leper.
Leviticus 13 tells how the priests were to diagnose leprosy and then treat the leper. They were to examine the sores but never touch. Once diagnosed, the leper was cast out of the community, beyond the city walls. You treated him the way you would treat a corpse.
He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.Leviticus 13:46