While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. 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.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:12-13
Leprosy was known as a contagious and communicable disease. It was a flaking skin disease that over time eats away at you and causes the absence of sensation. With numbness there was serious risk of injury because the alert of pain no longer existed.
Having contact with a person full of leprosy was a risk people were not willing to take. For the safety of others, the law required everyone contaminated by leprosy to live in isolation and to announce themselves with a shout of “Unclean! Unclean!” if someone approached (see Leviticus 13:45-46).
Leprosy has long been used as a symbol in the Bible to illustrate sin. How would you feel having to shout your sin wherever you went? Stand back! I’m bitter, I’m a thief, I’ve been lusting, or I have hatred in my heart toward my boss. Pretty destructive to the ego and social life–wouldn’t you say?
God graciously enabled scientists to come up with a natural cure for leprosy. Because of the stigma, leprosy is now commonly referred to as “Hansen’s Disease” after the scientist G.A. Hansen. Although leprosy has been cured, we all still have cases of sin. Actually, we are full of it.
We commit sin through our blunders and our deliberate acts. We end up putting ourselves in isolation and become separated from what God’s best is for our lives. Yet life’s circumstances can change for you in a moment just as they did for the leper. He did his part. He cried out for help and sought divine intervention for his situation–he humbled himself.
If you have a seeking heart and ask Jesus for help and forgiveness, He is willing to come close. With one word or one touch, He will heal your brokenness like He did the leper.
If you are willing, Jesus is always available to make you clean.