Sin and spiritual uncleanness go hand in hand

Published 9:44 am Friday, September 30, 2022

In Luke 5:12 we read, “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
At that time, leprosy was an uncurable affliction. Even today, leprosy is a dreaded disease that deforms the body to the extent that those afflicted are difficult to approach. This verse shows us that the leper had full faith that Jesus could heal him from this dreaded disease. In fact, the only thing that could prevent his healing would be if Jesus was not willing, and the leper knew this to be true.
In some ways the disease of leprosy is symbolic of sin and its consequences. The idea of sin and spiritual uncleanness go hand in hand. Consider that under the Law of Moses, lepers were to be separated from the masses of those that were not infected. Now consider what Luke says about this man. “He was ‘full of leprosy.’” If we understand this man’s condition properly, we will conclude that he was past all hope of recovery. There is no doubt that the sight of this man would have been repulsive to most men. In this condition he would be a disgusting sight. When this type of leprosy was full, it would leave the affected unrecognizable to his family and close friends. The ulcers that would appear on the body would flow with discharge. The afflicted would lose their hair, as nodules grew outward. Eventually the disease would spread inward into the body of the sick. Their eyes would become fixed as their voices would become hoarse and raspy. The disease would end up as consumption, dropsy, suffocation, and eventually a horrible death. It appears that this man was not far from the end stages of the disease. Despite his dire condition this man would say to Jesus, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
The Bible describes a similar spiritual condition, that, to many Jews was as bad if not worse than leprosy. When a person allowed sin to become a part of their lives they too would be cast out from among the tribe of Israel. Sinners of the day were seen as repulsive as swine, and dogs. The leper in Luke not only sought a physical healing, but he also sought a restoration of his place among the people. So, besides asking to be healed, the leper asked that the Lord would remove his shame. Just as mankind had no answer for the disease of leprosy, he likewise had no answer for the disease of sin. Even today the same is true, God can heal what mankind cannot. He can remove the guilt and shame of sin. (See Mark 9:14-29).
As far as man was concerned the leper was beyond help. However, the leper had one thing going for him. The story in Luke reveals the belief of the leper. Then he reveals the willingness of Jesus as He reached out and did the unthinkable as he touched the man and immediately the leprosy departed the man.
We should remember that regardless of the vile manner of disease, Jesus is the one that can heal. Many today fail to recognize or at least take advantage of the power of God when it comes to the disease of sin in their lives.
In Matthew 19:23-26, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
In Isaiah 1:18, we read, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. God is willing and able to save us from our sins. Are you willing to allow Him to touch your life, to make you a new person. The Bible teaches us that one must hear the Word of God, Repent of sins, Confess His name, and be buried in Jesus by baptism and then to live a faithful life. If you are willing, God is willing and able to rid you of the leprosy of the soul, (SIN).
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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