Read Luke 5:12-16
“’I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him”
This passage highlights the deep compassion of the Lord who not only approaches a leper but actually physically touches him. Besides the fact that leprosy was a highly infectious disease, the Old Testament law prohibited all contact with these outcasts since they were the paradigm of sinfulness: “The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ ...and he is to live alone outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:45).
The leper was not only unable to go up to the temple and worship God but also lived a miserable and lonely life: “it separated people from family and community, and thus constituted a ‘living death’. Indeed, rabbinic sayings compare the cure of leprosy to raising the dead, a divine prerogative” (Daniel Harrington, Sacra Pagina: Mark, p. 91).
Yet this leper does the unimaginable. He actually boldly goes up to Jesus and begs the Lord to heal him. With one touch of His hand, the Lord set him free. Jesus is not effected by ‘evil’ and but ‘evil’ is effected by Him and is vanquished. The Lord literally gives this man back his life.
Figuratively the word is used to describe the purifying or cleansing from sin and a guilty conscience thus making one acceptable to God and reestablishing our relationship with Him. Read Psalm 51.
Lord, I too am sometimes like that leper, devastated by the effect of my sin and the sin of others. I too boldly come to You and with faith ask you to heal me, to save me, to forgive me, to cleanse me for the glory of Your Name.