single protea

Luke 5 v 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

The experts here are the priests alluded to in v 14, to whom the healed leper had to report. Once again it would be helpful to read the whole story.

In the previous story Peter confesses his uncleanness of the heart, where it could not be seen. But in the encounter Jesus had with a leper, the uncleanness is everywhere to be seen. This leper was obliged to cry “unclean! Unclean!”(Leviticus 13 v 45 – 46) His leprosy was there for all to see. In those days there were various skin diseases diagnosed as leprosy. If a man was thought to have leprosy, it had to be diagnosed by a priest and then the sufferer was segregated from other people and also the temple, because his disease also made him ceremonially unclean. If ever the disease healed, the leper had to present himself to the priest again to be pronounced ceremonially clean (Leviticus 14) This was all pretty sever on the sufferer but necessary for the protection and health of the community.

Leprosy easily became a stigma and a metaphor or parable of moral and spiritual disease. What was Christ’s attitude to this man? It was one of great compassion for he not only spoke the word of cleansing but he reached out his hand and touched the man (v13) Imagine what this meant to a man who had probably not experienced a human touch for years. But not only compassion, Christ also exercised miraculous power to cleanse him and heal the leprosy.

Now notice what Jesus did in v 15. He told the man to go to the priest “as testimony” to them.

The priest could proclaim him clean but had no power, as the expert, to heal him. But now here was a man pointing to something extremely important. Someone had arrived with power far greater than theirs who could actually heal the leprosy, restore his life and gave him hope.

What a Saviour. The application holds true for all of us. No matter how contaminated or unclean we have been made by our foolishness, selfishness and disobedience, we have one to whom we can turn and say “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” And He will always answer “I am willing”