Luke 5:12- 16
12While 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.” 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.
Leprosy has terrified humanity since ancient times and was considered a curse of God often associated with sin. It would linger for years causing the tissues to degenerate and deforming the body. Leprosy destroys nerve endings that carry pain signals making people with advanced leprosy experience a total loss of feeling. This often leads to the largest number of deformities as people hurt themselves due to loss of feeling (picking up a cup of boiling water without flinching) What a picture of sin, that debilitating disease that deforms us and causes a total loss of feeling leading to us destroying our lives as we indulge in destruction.
In addition to the physical pain and disfiguration, biblical leprosy carried with it emotional pain as people were shunned, chased away banished to the life of an outcast. We all want to belong to be loved and not shunned. God never intended for us to be outcasts but that is the fruit of sin, deformed alone and dying. Here is where Jesus finds this man unable to cleanse Himself, in need of the Healer. Jesus first response is to reach out and touch, to touch us, the diseased, contagious, disfigured, the lepers. What is your leprosy? Bitterness, anger, porn, alcohol, pride, unforgiveness, jealousy, poor self-image, or ___________? Sin takes many forms but they all deform! The leper fell with His face to the ground, humbled, he didn’t say if you can, he said if you are willing. Do you need a touch from the Healer? Is it time to get alone with God and call out “make me clean” He can heal and He is willing are you?