Lesson for the Lord’s Day

And Jesus put forth His hand and touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:3

Nowhere in the Gospels do we read of anyone coming to the Lord Jesus for help of any kind and being disappointed because Jesus was not willing to help. We read of sick people coming, or being brought by others, and being healed. We read of hungry people fed because of the Saviour’s compassion, of dead people raised because Jesus shared their families’ grief, of all manner of ailments that were put right because there was One who actually cared. Physical and spiritual wounds were healed in every case, proving the truth of the leper’s statement in the previous verse that if Jesus would, He could make the leper clean. If Jesus would cleanse then, He will, and can, cleanse today.

None of the people I have ever met have leprosy. But I know the Lord Jesus can cleanse lepers. Everyone I have ever met is a sinner. And I know that the Lord Jesus can cleanse sinners. I know because he cleansed me. I know because He cleansed you. And I know because His Gospel still rings forth with an invitation to all who will receive His cleansing. That Gospel message tells of a Saviour Who is not only willing to cleanse, but a Saviour Who provided the very means of our cleansing.

The leper knew that Jesus could cleanse him, but he was unsure if Jesus was willing to do so. He should never have had any doubts. From eternity the Gospel message is about His willingness to cleanse. The very drafting of Salvation’s plan was because of His willingness. The prophet’s words, ‘Here am I, send me’ (Isaiah 6:8), were proof of our Lord’s willingness, hundreds of years before its fulfillment. And all of prophecy concurs. The angels’ pronouncement to the shepherds of Bethlehem was also proof that His coming was for our cleansing. And the accounts of the Gospel writers concur. Our Bible’s grand theme is of the One Who came to cleanse us, and of His willingness to come.

That we needed cleansing there is no doubt. We know all about our sins. And just as the leper was unfit for society because of his unclean condition, we were also unfit for Heaven, for God’s presence, because of our unclean condition. The reality of One Who was willing to cleanse is very precious to us. When He declared ‘I will, be thou clean’, He was speaking not only to the leper but to every sinner like us. His blood has made us fit for Heaven’s mansions and eternity’s glories. -Jim MacIntosh

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