“You can make me clean.” Mark 1:40 (NIV)
The word “clean” is of huge significance here. This is a story about a man who was healed of leprosy. His diseased and wasting body was wonderfully and miraculously healed.
But there’s much more here. Notice that the man does not say, “If you are willing, you can heal me.” He says, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Lepers were excluded from the community for the obvious reason that their disease was so highly infectious. They were also excluded from the worship of God. So this man is living his life cut off from God and from His people.
Leprosy in the Bible is a powerful picture to us of our sinful condition. Sin causes loss of feeling and loss of function to the soul, as leprosy causes loss of feeling and function to the body. Sin wastes the soul as leprosy wastes the body.
So when this man says, “You can make me clean,” he is saying: “You can deliver me from this alienation from God. You can give me a place among God’s people. You can save me from this body of death. You can give new strength to these wasting limbs. You can make me a new man. You can give me a new life.”
This is a marvelous picture of what God promises in the gospel. If you are to receive what Christ promises, you must come to Him with faith, and you must come with a desire to be clean.
Do you have a desire to be clean? If not, you can ask God to give you this desire.