I will; be clean.

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

There is something moving and heroic about people who touch the untouchables. I think that leprosy was the AIDS/HIV disease of Jesus' day - the disease carried a stigma and people avoided lepers because they were unclean and contagious. Interesting that Jesus does not question the leper about how he contracted the disease or cast innuendo on the man's character. He replied to the leper's request with a simple "I will".

There is something even more awe-inspiring though about a man who could speak to a disease and instantly heal it. Again, the simplicity of the words "be clean" are almost underwhelming. If it were me I might have shouted a bit. The humility of Jesus' heart shines through when he tells the leper not to advertise the miracle. Jesus' response to this leper teaches me so much about the heart of God and real ministry.

Lord, wash the pride out me. Help my words to be simple. Lead me to embrace those deemed by society to be untouchable, without hope and broken beyond repair.


  1. Wonderful passage. During our VBS I took on the role of Nurse Lydia of a leper colony to help the children unstand the stories in the Bible of Jesus healing leprosy.

    The story of Father Damian in Hawaii and the Leper Colonies is so remarkable.


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