A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Leprosy made him an outcast. Before entering a common area like a marketplace, the leper would have to yell, “Unclean!” It was a warning system to let others know that he wasn’t fit to be part of society.
Being unclean meant he could no longer live with his family or participate in community activities. He would have to watch his family from afar, never celebrating festivals with them or sharing a special meal. He was doomed to be an outsider for the rest of his life.
Then he hears of Jesus and His reputation for healing illnesses throughout the region. When he spots Jesus in the crowd, the man comes to Him. Getting on his knees, he says in a shaky voice, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. (Matthew 8:3)
What’s interesting isn’t just the miracle. It’s the order of Jesus’ actions. He touches the man then heals him. In Jewish customs, anyone who touched the man with leprosy would also be unclean until he washed again.
Most of the Jews would have expected Jesus to heal the man before touching him. But this story is a beautiful example of how Jesus doesn’t demand healing or perfection before He touches our lives.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, God has compassion for you right now, right as you are. You don’t have to wait until you get your act together for God to love you. He already loves you because you are precious to Him.
God, Your love overwhelms me. You care about my suffering and pain right now. Thank You for Your kindness and faithfulness toward me. Help me to remember that You embrace me just as I am. In Jesus’ name, Amen.