Touching the Loathsome
Matthew 8:1-4
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

A good Christian lady living in Sweden opened a home for crippled and diseased children — children whom nobody really cared about but herself — and received about twenty of them into it. Amongst them was a little boy of three years old, who was a more frightful and disagreeable object than you ever saw, or are ever likely perhaps to see in your life. He resembled skeleton. His poor skin was so covered with blotches and sores that he could not be dressed. He was always crying and whining, always peevish, and the poor little fellow gave more trouble almost than all the others put together. The good lady did her best for him; she was as kind as possible — washed him, fed him, nursed him; but the child was so repulsive in his look and ways, that she could not bring herself to like him, and her disgust, I suppose, occasionally appeared in her face. One day she was sitting on the verandah-steps with the child in her arms. The sun was shining warm, the scent of the autumn honeysuckles, the chirping of the birds, the buzzing of the insects, lulled her into a sort of sleep; and in a half-waking, half-dreaming state, she thought of herself as having changed places with the child, and lying there, only more foul, more disagreeable than he was. Over her she saw the Lord Jesus bending, looking intently and lovingly into her face, and yet with a sort of expression of gentle rebuke in it, as if He meant to say, "If I can love and bear with you, who are so full of sin, surely you ought, for My sake, to love that guiltless child, who suffers for the sin of his parents." She woke up with a start, and looked in the boy's face. He had waked up too, and she expected to hear him begin to cry; but be looked at her — poor little mite! — very quietly and earnestly for a long time, and then she — sorry for her past disgust, and feeling a new compassion for him, and a new interest in him — bent her face to his, and kissed his forehead as tenderly as she had ever kissed any of her own babes. With a startled look in his eyes, and a flush in his cheeks, the boy, instead of crying, gave her back a smile so sweet, that she had never seen one like it before: nor will, she thinks, till it will light up his angel features some day on their meeting in heaven. From that day forth a perfect change came over the child. Young as he was, he had hitherto read the feelings of dislike and disgust in the faces of all who approached him, and that had embittered his little heart; but the touch of human love, swept all the peevishness and ill-nature away, and woke him up to a new and happier life.

(G. Calthrop, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

WEB: When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

The Touch of Christ Cleanseth
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