Jesus, the Leper, and the Cross | Faith
by The Press and Standard | July 14, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 10, 2019 at 10:11 am
“I will; be clean.”
— Matthew 8:3
The leper had nothing. He could give nothing. He could do nothing. He was, in the eyes of man, nothing. Unclean and a blemish on the public life, his very presence would have caused many to turn and depart in fear and disgust. But, Matthew records in his gospel account, “And, behold, a leper came to [Jesus] and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’ And, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean’” (Matthew 8:2).
“Behold” is correct. Behold a man who knows that a life that has not been quickened and sealed by the grace of Christ is hopeless. Behold a man who has treasured up the precious words of our Savior and has pondered them in his heart. Behold, because this leper knows the One before which he has knelt before is not a liar nor a lunatic. He is Lord. This same Jesus will soon speak to Martha the foundational words of the Gospel, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). This leper — who brought Jesus nothing in his hands but his own sin — believed it.
He believed the only One who could truly wash him of the corruption of his flesh and the sin of his heart was the Christ standing before him. He believed Jesus was the only way to salvation, that He was the only absolute truth, and that He was the only giver of life — now and everlasting. Behold this leper’s faith. This man believed. Do you believe this?
Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the atonement of our sins, we may, as did this leper, come boldly to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness, His cleansing and His salvation. The words of Christ recorded here by Matthew, “I will; be clean,” are not simply for this leper; they are recorded for all who will come to the foot of the cross and be made clean by having faith Jesus.
He is willing! Come and know Him and be born again in the cleansing flow which flows from the cross. It was made for you. Do you believe this?
(Jeremy Breland of Ruffin is associate pastor of Ruffin Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)