Who are the Untouchables?

Jesus spent his time with this very group of people.

The Untouchables.

No – it isn’t a movie. It also isn’t a documentary about the people on Wall Street who were able to avoid prosecution after selling bad mortgages (as reported on a Frontline documentary).

Per dictionary.com it is someone so distant, they are not able to be touched.
What distances people so that they become untouchable?


Either way – in the eyes of Jesus no one was untouchable.

In fact, he spent his time reaching out to the untouchables and touching them.

Like Levi (Matthew) – the tax collector – whom he called to follow him and dined with him at a banquet FULL of untouchables.

Sometimes in life I think we all feel “Untouchable.” Part of following Jesus means we tear down our walls and we allow ourselves to be “touched.” Loved. Cared for. This involves risk – and we don’t like to be risk-takers. But . . . Jesus did. He risked everything . . .

He risked everything, also, as he reached out to touch the untouchables.

What could this world look like if each of us picked one category listed above and reached out to touch the untouchable that is in our own existence? What if we showed earnestness, love, and grace rather than scorn, judgment, and hate?

The leper that Jesus touched in Luke 5:12-16 said, “Lord, if you want, you can . . .” and Jesus replied, “I do want to. . .”

Let us join together with Jesus and want to!

Luke 5:12-16    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jesus Cleanses a Leper

12 Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy.[a] When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 13 Then Jesus[b] stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy[c] left him. 14 And he ordered him to tell no one. “Go,” he said, “and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.” 15 But now more than ever the word about Jesus[d] spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. 16 But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.