In my recent Bible reading, a short passage has captured my attention. I’ve basically memorized these verses and have been meditating on their significance. Here it is, from Matthew 8:2-4—”And behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.’ And Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
You probably know that “leprosy” described any number of terrible skin diseases. “Lepers” were quarantined away from the general population, outcasts who people feared to come in contact with lest they too should be infected. So, when the text says, “behold, a leper came to Him,” people would naturally be disturbed.
Those with leprosy should definitely be social distancing from the crowds following Jesus and from the Teacher Himself. Yet the man was desperate to get to Jesus and shows his humility by kneeling before Him and calling Him Lord.
His request is one that recognizes Jesus’ authority and divine power: “if You will, You can make me clean.” What a great pattern for prayer! We should believe God can do anything we ask, yet at the same time humbly submit to his will.
The next part would have shocked the original audience the most—“Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him.” The Lord has zero fear of contracting disease from the sick one. The only transmission is that of miraculous power from Jesus that heals the man instantly. “I will,” Jesus affirms; “be clean.” Not only healed, but “cleansed.” The man is saved from sickness and given a new lease on life.
Faith in Jesus will bring you one day into His pure kingdom. But if He wills, He can also change your life here and now. He may not heal your every physical illness just yet. However, I promise He can cleanse your soul.
You can email Pastor Jeff Gwilt at firstname.lastname@example.org.