The Unclean Made Clean

Read: Matthew 8:1-4

Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. (v. 2 NIV)

Do you know what it is to be an outcast, someone no one wants in their company, shunned by everyone? The man with leprosy came to Jesus as an outcast from all people. He wasn’t just sick. According to the law of Moses, the leprosy made the man into a source and presence of contamination itself (Leviticus 14). If a leper so much as touched anyone, that person would become unclean too.

What is most remarkable in this story is not simply that Jesus healed the man, but why and how he healed the man. First the why. The man knew that Jesus had the power. But did Jesus care? Jesus’s statement “I am willing” (v. 3 NIV) is one of the most beautiful answers in all of Scripture. God is willing! But Jesus’s words were fulfilled by his action—this is the how. “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. . . . Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy” (v. 3 NIV). What a beautiful picture of God’s work. Instead of the leper touching Jesus and making Jesus unclean, Jesus touches the leper and makes him clean.

God is not frightened by our diseases or our sins, and he cannot be contaminated by either. He can touch them and cleanse them. He awaits your expression of faith in him: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean” (v. 2 NIV). God is willing.

As you pray, tell God you want to be cleansed, and come to him for cleansing. God is not afraid to touch you.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus