“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him”
The next person we meet is a man ‘covered with leprosy.’ Unclean in terms of the Jewish Law he was forced to live away from other people. Dressed in rags he was required to call out “Unclean, Unclean” as a warning to anyone who came near to him. He was banished from his family and all society and would have come to see himself as disgusting to everyone, including the religious leaders and so too to God. He would have been disgusting even to himself.
He sees in Jesus his last hope and comes and falls down before Him crying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Two more things stand out for us,
- He does not ask for healing but for cleansing – for it is being unclean that has separated him from family, friends and other fellowship.
- He does not question Jesus ability – only whether He is willing.
Jesus response is beautiful. He reaches out His hand and touches the man – touching the untouchable and recognising his humanity and loneliness. Then He follows it with the wonderful words, “I am willing.” And immediately the leprosy left the man. He was cleansed and healed in that moment.
Sin can be like a leprosy – making us unclean, and even disgusting, in the eyes of ourselves, others and even God. But the wonder of His love and grace revealed in Jesus Christ is that He has come to find us, reach out to us, and cleanse us from all sin, stain and guilt. And we, who were also the untouchable ones, find ourselves touched by the wonder of His cleansing and healing sacrifice – and bathed in the warm life-giving light of the risen Son.
Draw near to Him – He is not only able but very willing to restore you to true life.
Lord Jesus, I come to You with all the weakness and darkness and stains that have clouded my life and relationship with You, and with myself. Cleanse me too Lord that I may walk with You in the glorious light of Your Life. Amen.