"And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed." (Mark 1:40–42 KJV)
In the first century, leprosy was one of the most dreaded diseases known to man. Its victims usually experienced a long excruciating death, that included the slow deterioration of their bodies. “Patients with leprosy experienced disfigurement of the skin and bones, twisting of the limbs, and curling of the fingers to form the characteristic claw hand. Facial changes included thickening of the outer ear and collapsing of the nose.” (Answers in Genesis)
It was not only a physical horror, but it was also a social stigma. The disease was believed to be highly contagious, and therefore when lepers walked down the street they had to call out, “unclean, unclean.” They lived in colonies sequestered from the rest of society.
It was to Jesus, one of these came. He was convinced of Jesus’ ability to heal him, but he was unsure of His willingness. Jesus was not untouched by this man’s horrible condition. He was moved with sympathy, and motivated to help him. Without a doubt, He could have simply spoken the word, and the man would have been healed. But he didn't just speak, he reached out and touched him, and said five words—five of the sweetest words the man had ever heard, “I will; be thou clean” The touch was not to heal, but simply to communicate compassion, and acceptance to this man, who no doubt had gone a long time without any physical contact with another human being.
When we are going through the painful experiences of our lives, it is good to know that our Christ is not unmoved by our struggles. He is both able and willing to do something about them. In His wisdom, he may not do it in our timeframe, but He does care, and will answer our prayers.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:15–16 ESV)
With what painful situation are you struggling? Your Savior cares! Come to Him. He is both willing and able to help you.