Be Clean

The term leprosy, as used in the Bible, actually refers to a whole variety of skin conditions ranging from rashes, to open sores, to various infectious diseases, and includes true leprosy as we know it today.

According to God’s Law given through Moses, a person with leprosy was ceremonially unclean and not allowed to take part in any form of worship. They were to live in isolation or cry out “Unclean! Unclean!” as they walked about the community (Leviticus 13). Lepers were strictly avoided since even accidental contact would cause a person to become unclean. Therefore, imagine the turmoil in the crowd as a leper boldly approached Jesus.

Matthew 8:2-3
“A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ‘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!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.”

Yes, imagine the turmoil as many in the crowd scattered to get out of the leper’s way. Some must have been calling out warnings, others delivering harsh rebukes. But even more importantly, consider the faith of the leper as he stepped forward. He knew he would face ridicule and scorn, but he had heard about Jesus and his faith propelled him into action.

Jesus looked past the ugliness of the man’s condition and saw directly into his heart. In the heart, Jesus saw a beautiful man of faith reaching out to be made clean – He saw a heart which reflected the heart of king David; “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).

Our sin creates an ugliness far greater than any skin disease. Sin caused man to be repulsive to God and totally separated from His presence. But while we were in this terminal state, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

No matter how bad we think we “look” – no matter how much sin is covering us and making us unclean – Jesus sees directly into our heart. No amount of sin can keep Him from rescuing those with a repentant heart and a desire to be cleansed.

If there is anything causing us to be separated from the presence of our Lord today – any past sin, any current temptations, or any lack of obedience – we must kneel before Him and seek forgiveness. Others may turn away and not understand, but Jesus stands ready to lovingly touch us with His outstretched hand and say, “Be Clean!”

Have a Great Day!
Steve Troxel God’s Daily Word Ministries