Don’t you hate it when you get a stain on your shirt that you know will not come out when it is washed? The shirt is now trash because it will never be without that spot again. It will never be clean. When the stain is unable to be removed, that which is stained becomes useless.
Aren’t you glad that when it comes to our hearts, God can remove any stain? There is no stain that exists from sin that God cannot make clean if we come to Him in faith and repentance. Whatever the issue and however long it has been in our lives, God can clean us up if we turn from that stain and ask Him to make us clean.
In Luke 5, Jesus is walking through a town when a man with leprosy calls out to Him. The man says: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean” (Luke 5: 12, NIV). Jesus responds that He is willing, He touches the man, and the leprosy is cleaned up immediately. Here are some great truths to note:
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1. The man shows faith.
The man knew where to go for help. And, he was desperate for help. With his face to the ground, the man begged Jesus to make him clean again. He showed the faith needed in that he went to Jesus to be made clean. Who are you trusting to make you clean? Are you going to Jesus or are you trying to do it yourself? Jesus is the only one that can work on the inside of you to take away the stain of sin in your heart. Come to Him with a humble heart that is willing to change, and He can make you clean.
2. Jesus touches the man.
During the event where Jesus heals the man’s leprosy, Jesus reaches out and touches the man to bring the healing. Jesus could have just spoken the words, and it would be done. But, by touching the man, Jesus was showing that He cared about him and was willing to meet him right where he was. By the Levitical law, Jesus would be considered unclean. And, the leprosy that the man had was highly contagious. None of that matter to Jesus. Out of love and compassion, He was willing to relate to the man right where he was.
3. The man was made clean.
The man left the encounter with Jesus clean and whole. Jesus gave him further instructions about how to be ceremonially clean as well. The man needed to go show the priest and offer the proper sacrifices, not to make himself clean but to express thanks to God for being made clean. When you come to Jesus and let Him clean your heart inwardly and your life outwardly, you should offer your thanks and praise to the Lord who has made it happen. The God whom we offend when we sin has come and made us clean again by the work of Christ in our lives.
Just as Jesus said to the man with leprosy, He will say to you: “Be clean!”