Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying as he did so, “I am willing; become clean.”
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This is one of those interesting moments for translators as they feel their way through descriptive choices. Is Jesus indignant that he would ever be thought to choose to not heal? Is Jesus simply compassionate because that is who beloved people are? Is Jesus angry or, here, incensed at one satanic disorder of the world or another?
Regardless of how you parse Jesus’ internal state, externally his hand is extended, contact is made, and cleanliness is announced.
A measurement of what is religiously and culturally clean or unclean goes beyond the space left on this page. Look up the 8-page article, “Clean and Unclean”, in the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible.
Initially we have a touch and announcement that moves beyond the binary of clean and unclean as measured and judged by standards old and new. This opens possibilities of a different cleanliness than that of surfaces.
Cleanliness experienced through belovedness-healing can change relationships with current religious mores and cultural norms even before a cure and risk a return before a priest says so.