I will, be thou clean.

Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

In second Kings chapter 5 we are introduced to a Syrian Captain who is described as a great man. He is further described as honorable, a mighty man in valor, and is having the admiration of the King. Unfortunately, his description ends with "but he was a leper". Does it really matter at that point that he was a great man? Does being a mighty man of valor outweigh the horrible disease of leprosy? I don't imagine that anybody reading this would desire leprosy no matter what else came with it, even if it were half the world. Many of us have received bad news from our doctor at some point. However, I personally cannot think of anything as horrible as being told, "you have leprosyā€¯.

In the passage before us we have a leper who comes to Jesus. His posture and his speech convey humility and deep need. He kneels down in the presence of Jesus and strongly expresses his desire for Jesus to give his attention to his great need. We do not know who else he has been to see, nor do we know what else has been tried. What we do know is that his sickness remains. Whatever attempts that have come before this have all failed. And now, finally, the leper comes to Jesus. You will notice that his plea is very simple, "if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean". To this leper the ability of Jesus is not in question. He is sure that Jesus CAN make him clean. Even though leprosy is an incurable disease, Jesus CAN cure him. The only question in this man's mind is WILL Jesus choose to make him clean. We know very little about this leper. There is a little bit of revelation concerning him in the verses that follow our passage, and they seem to indicate that he does not always do the "right thing". Perhaps, this man is aware that Jesus knows his heart, and like most of us, he believes that that could disqualify him from Jesus wanting to help him. Of course, we have no way of knowing if this is the reasoning behind his words, but we do see that while he is sure of Jesus' ability, he is not sure if Jesus will help him.

We see in our Lord's response the compassion that so many of us have experienced. Love and compassion MOVE God to help us! I have never heard in my life of someone crying out to God in humility and God refusing to answer. Our God is moved with compassion! Occasionally most of us have been moved by compassion. It is the gift of natural affection that God has put in every man and woman that brings this about. It is part of the image of God that appears to remain in mankind as a whole. If we, as selfish as we are, can be moved to help someone in great need, how much more would we expect the God of love to choose to rescue anyone who would honestly and humbly cry out to him. Jesus says in John chapter 6, "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out". And we find this to be true in our present passage. Our Lord Jesus is moved with compassion and he touches this leprous man while speaking to him these wonderful words, "I will; be thou clean"! Honestly, even as we see this now it brings joy and reverence to our hearts. I personally remember when Jesus said to me, "I will; be thou clean"! How about you dear reader, have you humbly asked Jesus to make you clean? He will! In fact, He wills to do so! He simply waits for you to ask.

Just one final note. "And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him and he was cleansed". Immediately! He was cleansed immediately! All Jesus had to do was speak and it was so. We testify that this is true not only in the passage before us but in the lives of all of his children. Where nothing else could help, Jesus made us clean!