“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.[b]When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5.12-15
To touch a leper in that day was a very unclean thing to do. The disease could spread making you very sick and an outcast in the community. Yet Jesus “reached out his hand and touched the man.” Reminds me of a modern day Mother Theresa who worked with leper’s and touch them yet never contracted the disease.
This was the seventh miracle of Jesus. Seven out of thirty seven. His ministry has just launched but his fame is already great. He’s so popular that he “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” He withdrew to gain strength from God by being alone and with his Heavenly Father.
But our focus today is on the man with leprosy. A man who found Jesus in one of the towns in Galilee and falls to his face and begs him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Do you hear the faith in that statement? “Lord, if you willing…you CAN make me clean” (emphasis added.) The man had no doubt that Jesus could heal him but the question was would he?
Jesus has great compassion and no fear. He showed compassion toward the leper whose faith drove him to Jesus. He had no fear over the disease, knowing that God was completely able to conquer all sickness and disease. And so Jesus says, “I am willing. Be clean.” The he told him not to tell anyone but to go to the temple priest and offer the sacrifices which Moses commanded “at your cleansing.”
Now it was a little presumptuous of Jesus to believe the man would not tell anyone. I imagine Jesus was already standing in a crowd of people trying to keep a good distance from the leper but close to Jesus. But in spite of Jesus’ request, news spread all the more.
The miracles of Jesus had that affect on people. Many who were desperate would come to him, begging for help, seeking healing regardless of their pride. I wonder if we are willing to do the same? To beg him for his help? To ask him for his mercy? To pray for his healing.
Although you most likely do not suffer from leprosy, you do need healing and saving in some regard. We all do. Why not call out to Jesus today – the Author and perfector of our faith — and ask him for healing?
“O Lord God, you are filled with compassion. Thank you for saving me! Thank you for your power to rescue me from sin and deal. Thank you for helping me walk though life and lean upon your word. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love and grace. Help me know the truth of your Word and the power of your witness. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen