This past week, while I was in the checkout line at the store, a mother with her baby came to the register beside me. The baby could not have been much older than one or two. Immediately I realized that this child and I had something in common; you see, he had flaky skin and red blemishes on his face and arms. I tried to interact with the child, but the mother seemed apprehensive, seemingly moving between me and the child. I became overwhelmed, reflecting on those things we have been learning in our study of Leviticus and the Mosaic Law. One day, if he had lived during those times, he would be announcing to those around, “Unclean! Unclean!” (Leviticus 13:45). His life would have been one of isolation.
And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who
was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored
Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
The scene here is difficult to imagine, for the man that approached Jesus was “full of leprosy”, which speaks of a surface covered in every part. What is interesting is that the man did not ask to be healed, although it is clearly involved in the request. He asked to be made clean. He wanted to be cleansed by curing. He knew Jesus was able to do it, most likely because he had heard or seen others who had been healed. But would He? He implores Jesus with his face to the ground, unaware of what was about to happen.
Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.
Stop! Imagine being this man and feeling that touch. How many years has it been? Then to hear those words that would change his world, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Instantaneously, he was cleansed! His world would never be the same. Praise Jesus for making him clean!
We are not so different from this man with leprosy. His plight was physical in nature, ours is spiritual. Our leprosy is called sin. Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” No matter how hard we try, honesty brings us back to the words spoken by the tax collector in Luke 18:13, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” What began on that day we obeyed the gospel, continues even to this day, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1st John 1:7). Lord Jesus, thank you for making us clean. Dennis