“When [Jesus] came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him 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.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
In his Morning and Evening devotional for this day, Charles H. Spurgeon writes,
“Sin mourned and confessed, however black and foul, shall never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. Whosoever cometh unto Him, He will in no wise cast out. Though dishonest as the thief, though unchaste as the woman who was a sinner, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal, the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no soundness in him, and will pronounce him clean,
when he trusts in Jesus crucified.”
What beautiful, powerful truth. There is no sin too dark, no person too trapped or too far gone, that Jesus cannot cleanse with a touch. This includes you. It includes me. It includes all whom we might write off as impossible to reach.
As I dwelt on Spurgeon’s words, I opened my Bible to where I had left off in reading Matthew. The next verses were these in chapter 8 – perfectly capturing what I was already contemplating. This afflicted outcast, one who had to cry out “unclean” to warn others to steer clear, throws himself at Jesus’ feet. Openly confessing his desperate need, Jesus’ ability to cleanse, and His authority to choose whether or not to do so. With nothing to offer, entirely at Jesus’ mercy.
Jesus does not recoil. He does not hesitate. He reaches out and touches him, this unclean and typically avoided leper, and immediately the man is cleansed.
O beloved of God, this is what He will do for you. Regardless of how many times you have failed, no matter how much darkness you see in your heart, whatever cycle you feel you are trapped in – there is hope for you.
You can come to Jesus, filled with desperate need and covered in the blackness of sin, and with a touch of His nail-scarred, powerful, compassionate hand, He will make you clean.
“Hear the voice of Love that’s calling,
There’s a chair that waits for you
And a Friend who understands everything you’re going through.
But you keep standing at a distance
In the shadows of your shame.
But there’s a light of hope that shines,
Won’t you come and take your place.
And bring it all to the table.
There’s nothing He ain’t seen before.
For all your sin, all your sorrows, all your sadness,
There’s a Savior and He calls, ‘Bring it all to the table.’”
– Zach Williams, To The Table