Matthew 8 is bold. Jesus touches the leper. The rule of the day was to quarantine the “unclean” because if the “unclean” touched the “clean,” the “clean” would become infected.
Jesus reverses the effect. The Kingdom is about reversal. As Dallas Willard points out, that’s the whole point of the Beatitudes. It is demonstrating that no one is beyond Kingdom blessing. Jesus demonstrates it when he heals the leper. The leper called out for healing, and Jesus responded. It wasn’t just a word spoken. It was a touch. What the leper didn’t expect he received. He didn’t just receive healing, he received blessing.
We live in a germophobic world. Hand sanitizer is everywhere because we are afraid of catching the flu. There are seasons in Minnesota when we don’t shake hands or hug… okay, in Minnesota hugs are just rare in general… but even handshakes are almost outlawed because we fear. Sometimes we fear in good way.
But the Kingdom demonstrates something new. The clean actually can infect the unclean! It’s not “normal.”
The power of the Kingdom is infectious. We need to be more contagious!