Just say away!
Please don’t abandon me!
He remained outside in deserted places.
Jesus had just healed the leper who had begged Him for mercy. Jesus instructed the former leper to go show himself to the temple priests and to make the called for sacrifice. But now Jesus was in trouble.
According to Mosaic Law, Jesus could not go near anyone. He had touched a leper, and in the process had made Himself ritually unclean. According to the law, He had to stay away from people, had to be isolated, so that He would not contaminate anyone else.
Of course, Jesus was completely pure and clean, but He abided by the strictures of Mosaic Law.
Jesus came to us, not to be separated from humanity, but to be part of humanity. That meant He was subject to the same feelings, the same temptations, the very same things we face. So today, we learn about Jesus’ experience of isolation.
The whole point of Jesus’ isolation was not to show that He is like us in every way but sin, but to let us know that He is here, to this day, as the remedy and cure for our isolation.
God created us, each of us, to be social, to live in community, to be a real part of each other’s lives. We need people because God designed us that way. Recall what God says in Genesis: “It is not good for man to be alone.”
Jesus calls us to repent and follow the Gospel, to fix relationships that are damaged and spoilt because of our own wrong actions and selfish behavior. He also wants us to know that the Father – the maker of the whole world – is a loving person, who desperately wants a relationship with us! It may be unbelievable, but it is true. God is not a power, a force, a feeling, or a distant angry ruler – He is a person, who wants to be a ‘friend who stays closer than a brother’. He is the ultimate Family, the real Lover, and the special Friend. What is more, He can give us a new power inside, to handle life, relationships and problems. He came to heal isolation, to end loneliness, and to be with us, even when we think we are so alone.