A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘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 cured of his leprosy.’ “
People in Jesus’ day who had leprosy had to live outside of town in what we would call a leper colony. And if someone without leprosy started getting close too them, they were required to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!”
But here was a man who apparently pushed his way through a crowd where he didn’t belong. He didn’t ask Jesus if he could heal him; he asked if he was willing to. After all, he was “unclean”. Remarkably, Jesus said yes.
Then Jesus did another remarkable thing: He touched the man. He touched the leprosy. Not only was he willing to be seen with an unclean man, he was willing to touch the disease.
Jesus still does this today. When we come to him with a diseased heart wondering if we are good enough, Jesus reaches out across the centuries and touches us. And his voice echoes across the centuries and says, “I am willing.”
No matter how much sin mars your life, Jesus still today can say, “Be clean.”