Leprosy was the most dreaded disease in all of Israel because of its contagiousness and the disfigurement it made. The Jews saw it as caused by sin, and the afflicted one as living in the judgment of God.
If a person was suspected to have the disease, he was required to go to the priests who would examine him and declare him either clean or unclean of the malady. If declared unclean, the poor sufferer was cut off from family, friends, and the congregation of Israel.
He could only associate with people who also had the disease. On top of that, he was obliged to wear torn clothing and to cry “Unclean, Unclean!” warning others of his presence.
There were many lepers in the area of Christ’s ministry, but no one ever heard of a leper being healed since the days of Elisha. Nevertheless, one man became hopeful as he heard of how Jesus healed the sick, the lame, the blind.
He started looking for Jesus. Forbidden to go into the cities, he sought Him in the open countryside. Finally, his chance came. While standing at a distance watching Jesus’ power to heal, he felt intense longing to go to Him.
People hurriedly parted as he approached Jesus. Falling at His feet, the sufferer pleaded, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” Jesus laid His hand on him, lovingly answering, “I will, be clean.”
Immediately, new life sprang into the man’s whole body, healing skin, nerve, muscles, bones.
This is a picture of what Jesus longs to do for us in cleansing us from sin’s defilement, not only of bad words, thoughts, or deeds, but selfishness, pride, and wrong motives as well. Whoever comes to Jesus believing, trusting Him to do so, will be cleansed.
If you have a question for Bible Mentor Marie Odell you can contact her by emailing: email@example.com
Marie Odell is a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
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