Are You a Leper?
Now a leper came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. “If you are willing, you can make me clean,” he said. 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” Mark 1:40-41 (NET)
Leprosy, thank God, is a disease that is treatable in the world today. Yet, in Jesus’ day, it was not. You became an outcast if this dreadful disease came upon you. Your faith community barred you from participation, and no one dared to invite you to any social gathering. You felt the sting of bitter isolation, locked down from gathering with others free of this feared sickness.
Spiritually, leprosy is a metaphor for sin. Anyone in sin can relate to the wall of shame one has to overcome. Like the leper, you withdraw from people walking in the Light and living a righteous life. Deep down, the root of sin leads you away from God, but you may not recognize it also leads you away from yourself. To reject Christ is to deny your identity.
The Gospel of Mark testifies to a lone leper who courageously approached Jesus. Can you imagine reaching out to Christ only to be rejected by Him? This man was desperate to be clean. He wanted to reengage with society and feel the warmth of human touch again. He wanted to come back to himself. He overcame His thoughts of unworthiness, knowing Jesus had the power to cleanse Him, but the question remained would He be willing to do so? He said, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.” With great compassion, Jesus said, “I am willing.” He touched the man, and immediately leprosy left him.
If left untreated, leprosy becomes a debilitating disease that corrupts your body and emotions. Sin does the same. It never gets better. It only gets worse, leaving you disfigured in life without hope. And yet, with one touch from Jesus, sin’s power over you will go. Jesus stands willing to free you. The question is, are you willing for Him to do so.