Posted by: forfreedomalone | 13/12/2013

I will, be clean.

Luke 5:12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus, fell on his face and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

I was considering these verses the other day and I’d like to share with you the thoughts I had about them.

A man with leprosy met Jesus and said that if Jesus was willing he could be healed.
Fairly straight forward really; until you consider the following.

The man had leprosy.
Leprosy is contagious when untreated, as it was in those days, and was regarded as an ‘unclean’ condition. Therefore, lepers has to remain outside the city walls. This then means that either Jesus went out to the man or he met him on his way into the city.
Lev 13:46
All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

He said to Jesus “If you will”.
This can be read in two ways, “If you want to, you can cleanse me” and “If it is your desire that I should be clean”.

This man would believe that his condition was brought upon him by God due to his sin.
Exd 15:26
“If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee”. Leprosy was well known to the Egyptians.

He would have associated his condition with God’s punishment, yet he asked Jesus if he was willing to heal him. This man knew that Jesus had power to heal disease and to make him clean. He knew that if he were clean he could return to his family and to life in the city.
Luke describes this man as being “full of leprosy”, so he may well have been very disfigured and having difficulty walking and feeding himself. On a purely physical plane healing would change his life.

Jesus said “I will”.

In whichever way we read that “will” from the leper we need to read it the same way from Jesus. Jesus was willing and it was his desire. He then healed the man of all of his disease.

Jesus then tells the man to go to the temple and offer the correct sacrifice and to let the priest see that he is healed.
The priest was the one who was responsible for saying the man had leprosy in the first place, so he had to declare the man clean.
Lev 13:15
And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy.
Lev 14:2
This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:
And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.

There are so many parallels with own situation in this story.
We are no longer under the curse of sickness because Jesus took all of the curse of the law upon himself, but we do still sin, which brings sickness and death into our lives. We are our own worst enemies.
However, no matter how we have messed up our lives, no matter how plague ridden we are, we can go to Jesus and say “Lord if you will, you can heal me” and he will always answer “I will, be healed”. All of the healing we will ever need was bought for us on the Cross, we simply have to access it by humbly acknowledging our sin, repenting and believing.

Our sin keeps us outside the camp, no matter what that camp may be, and the only others we can associate with are other sinners. We are not welcome in the company of those who do not live as we do. Drunks are not welcome in the company of the temperate; fornicators are not welcome in the company of the faithful; liars are not welcome in the company of those who revere truth and so on. They are always outside, but there is Jesus, willing to heal, willing to make it possible to return to the camp.

If we are in Jesus we are no longer sinners, but we all still sin. We alienate ourselves from the family of God and our own conscious separate us from our camp. The unhealed sin in our lives festers until we are ill, spiritually and physically, but Jesus is always there, right in the midst of us who are outside saying “I will”.

The leper was then set to the priest to be declared clean. Jesus is our High Priest, he is above every priest and he says “Be cleansed”. He declares us clean, by the sacrifice of his own blood.

If you are outside, come to him and be cleansed.
If you are his already but you have sinned, confess your sin to him and receive the healing he has already provided for you. “Confess” means “say the same thing”, say what he says, you are forgiven, you are his and he can never lose you, you are restored, and made whole.
If you are not his, come to him now that he may heal you and make you his. What was on offer for the leper is on offer for you, Jesus has not changed nor has he run out of healing. He longs to set you free from pain and suffering, be it physical or otherwise.

The leper went away rejoicing. That joy can be yours today also. Come and receive it.

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