In Mark chapter one there is a fascinating story. It seems pretty straightforward at first, but there is more depth to this story than meets the eye. In Mark 1:40, a leper came to Jesus:
And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”
The man was so desperate that he purposely sought Jesus, the only One who could cleanse Him. He kneeled down, in the begging position and looked up to the One He knew could cleanse Him. He wasn’t asking IF Jesus could heal Him, but if it was Jesus’ will to do so. That is faith! Success depended on faith and Jesus’ will. It wasn’t the power of the man to ask effectively, because he only said a few words. It was the effective power that the man knew Jesus had. That is a great model for us to follow! So how did Jesus respond?
Moved with pity, He stretched out His hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. Mark 1:41-42
Doesn’t this remind you of the salvation experience? As sinners, we come to Jesus on purpose, knowing He can cleanse and forgive us, and our cleansing depends on His will. He is very willing to do that for anyone! Instantly, Jesus cleanses us and gives us a whole new life, much like the leper. Can you imagine how much his life changed? Everything was different for him. In those days, a leper was considered unclean and was not to be touched. Only Jesus, out of compassion, was willing and touched the “unclean” man. After cleansing Him, Jesus told the man not to tell anyone but to go to the priest. I wondered why Jesus told Him that. Wouldn’t spreading the Word give Him glory and give God glory?
Barnes Notes on the Bible says, “The law of Moses required that a man who was healed of the leprosy should be pronounced clean by the priest before he could be admitted again to the privileges of the congregation.” Now it makes sense! The leper needed a pronouncement by a priest, who people would consider as one able to determine when healing had occurred. Then the leper could freely be among his brothers and sisters in Christ again! I can feel His joy! Though Jesus asked him not to, the leper could not help but tell everyone he met what Jesus had done. I think Jesus wanted the pronouncement by the priest so the cleansing would be regarded as a real and holy thing, not just some talk that others may not believe from a supposed “former leper.”
We are all “former lepers” of sorts. We used to be unclean, but through Jesus’ blood and will, we are made new! How can we not tell everyone we meet about it? Like the leper who witnessed his own miracle, how can we keep that miracle to ourselves? Like the leper, when we have a need of huge proportions, do we go straight to Jesus already knowing what He can do and simply ask for His will?
A personal note…I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday that surprised me. As I was talking to the triage nurse, she asked about my usual activities. I told her I write a devotion each day, then eat breakfast and so on. I didn’t get to finish what I was saying because she latched on to the fact that she really “needed to start those up again.”( her devotions) She was a Christian! She told me she kept her Bible in a certain place where she could see it every day but she didn’t read it consistently. We talked a little more about my health and before she left the room she asked about the site for my devotions. She purposely sought out a way to get closer to Jesus. It was so precious to me, having been in the position of seeking so many times. Whether she knew it or not, she encouraged me to reach out more. People are seeking Jesus or more of Jesus. We are all in a state of needing Him.
We just read how You cleansed a leper. You touched his un-cleanness and he was instantly changed. If there be any cleansing needed in our hearts, will You clean it also? Sometimes things and attitudes sneak in our lives that do not exactly glorify You. Like You did with the leper, please heal us of it all with Your touch. We would love the opportunity to tell others about what You have done for us. In the doctor’s office, grocery store or mall, we will reach out and love others with our cleansed heart. Help us to be compassionate like You are and love others deeply. We ask these things in order to honor You, our most holy and wonderful Savior. We love You so much! Amen
Love and prayers to all!
Just me. Just His.