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Jul 25, 2021

You Can Make Me Clean

You Can Make Me Clean

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Series: Sabbath 2021: Rhythm of Jesus

Category: Sunday Morning

Leprosy in the Bible is the ultimate picture of sin.

Leprosy is still one of the most feared and despised diseases, even though its mysteries and cure have now been known for decades.

Mark 1:40-42 And a man with leprosy came to Jesus, imploring Him and kneeling down, and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, and He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

The leper was not only diseased but also despised by all. He or she knew that they were the walking dead and were now destined to live out their lives apart from community, family, and even God. The distinction from every other disease is that they were not sick or infected, but "unclean." Unclean is a word that describes not only an affliction of the body but of the soul. Leprosy was the sign of sin - of the corruption of the soul. Therefore, the leper was banished, had no hope for healing, and had no hope for comfort. All hope was lost! 

Leprosy held a unique place in the plan of God for His people. Leprosy points to the holiness of God and how impossible it is for a mere human to reach Him on his own merit. That is why Jesus came as the ultimate and final sacrificial lamb - to fulfill the law once and for all.

Leviticus 13 ends with the ultimate result of leprosy - that even the garments were to be burned. Then Leviticus 14 opens with "This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing..." The assumption is that the leper could be cleansed. Chapter 13 has no hope. Chapter 14 opens full of hope.

Leprosy in the Bible is the ultimate picture of sin.

  • Sin separates - The leper was cast out. 
  • Sin destroys - Leprosy destroys the flesh, bones, and life.
  • Sin disfigures - A leper could not hide his disease.
  • Sin is impossible to eradicate by human methods but by only God's intervention. 

Jesus came to cleanse hearts and lives of sin! If you are seeking The Healer, The Savior, The One who can miraculously touch and make whole, Jesus is The One! 

What is between the Leviticus 13 and 14? What is between despair and cleansing?

Mark 1:40 And a man with leprosy came to Jesus, imploring Him and kneeling down, and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”  

1. The leper knew his condition and admitted it. The first lesson in cleansing is to admit our condition of sin. 

2. "If you are willing..." The leper approached Jesus in his condition. God can cleanse the leper. He can surely cleanse us as we approach Him in our sinful condition. 

3. "You can make me clean." Leprosy was not a disease to be healed. It was a condition to be cleansed. Scripture does not say that the leper was healed, but instead, he was cleansed. The disease of sin cannot be healed, medicated, given physical or spiritual surgery. Jesus came to cleanse souls.

4. "Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched Him." The leper's words were full of faith and were met with the touch of the Holy hand. When we no longer hide and we place our hope in Him alone, and not in people, not in programs, not in religion, not in self, He responds with His compassion and His touch!

Today, we can have this same compassion and the same touch because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is real today and as alive today as when He walked this earth - He is God. When the leper put his little faith to the test with five little words, "You can make me clean," the entire arsenal of mercy and grace rushed to his side. 

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to cleanse us of sin. He is here today to cleanse us!

See also: Matthew 8:1-4 and Luke 5:12-16

Why was leprosy so feared? What can be feared in that same way today?

How is leprosy the same as our sinful condition?

The leper approached Jesus with an incurable condition. What condition have you approached Jesus with?