Be Clean – Luke 5.12-16

“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came to him who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed down with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” So he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Then he ordered the man to tell no one, but commanded him, “Go and show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds were gathering together to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. Yet Jesus himself frequently withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.”

(NET)

Jesus’ next interaction is with a man who was covered with leprosy. This would mean he was cut off from the community and unable to worship God with them (cf. Leviticus 13). This man saw Jesus and knew that He was able to heal him. He didn’t say “Hey, if you can, could you…?” He said, 

“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

In the original language that Luke recorded this in, this utterance is only two words (Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι). According to Mosaic Law, lepers were not to be touched and should something unclean be touched by something clean, the clean becomes unclean. 

Jesus, then, broke all the rules in touching this man yet was able to take away his ceremonially unclean-ness and also heal his physical infirmities in just a handful of words:

“I am willing. Be clean!”

Had Jesus been lying, Luke would not have recorded that immediately the leprosy left him. 

Had Jesus been out of His right mind, He would not have said “Go and show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them”. Surely someone who had lost touch with reality would not have insisted this man go and fulfill Mosaic Law requirements.

Rather, these are the words of someone who is a source of healing, both ceremonial and physical. These are the words of someone who has taken care of your own ceremonial healing (Romans 6.23) and is available for your physical healing. These are again the words of the Lord. 


Point to ponder today – where do I need healing in my life?

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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