Does Jesus want me to be clean? #LukeActs2014

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:13, NIV)

I am faced with the question today. Do I believe that Jesus wants me to be clean? Do I really believe that?

Do I really believe that if Jesus reached out his hand, I would be clean? Clean of every dirty little secret that I don’t tell anyone. Clean of guilt and fear. Clean of the disease that lurks in the depths of my soul, cutting deals with me. “You pretend I’m not here, and I’ll let you keep trying to hold your life together by your own efforts.”

If I believe Jesus wants me to be clean, it means a couple of things, at least. First, it means dirt is not my only destiny. The sun does indeed shine and light does exist beyond the darkness. Second, it means that if I remain unclean it is because I have not gotten down on the ground with that leper.

When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” (Luke 5:12b, NIV)

It means something is keeping me upright and respectable.

I know that this is a tough pastoral line to take. People will hear this as accusation. If you are unclean, it is your own fault.

I admit my discomfort with that implication. So, I want to be clear. This is my reflection driven by my encounter with this passage of Scripture. I am not trying to say anything about you.

As I read today, I am thrown back on the old question: Does Jesus want me to be clean? If he does, then surely it is not his fault that I am not.

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3 thoughts on “Does Jesus want me to be clean? #LukeActs2014

  1. ” If he does, then surely it is not his fault that I am not.”

    Excellent meditations here, John. For me, this is really the crux of it. When I counsel addicts this is one of the areas their (and my own) thinking is so distorted by contemporary Christianity and by most secular counseling.

    Psalm 66:18 says that if I had cherished sin in my heart God would not have heard me. I don’t think it’s just addicts who love their sin more than God. We all do. And if we can come to a place where we see our sin the way God sees it (or at least closer to that) we will want his holiness more than our sin.

    This is so essential to true conversion! Thanks for sharing it.

    1. One more thought: John 5:6 has Jesus asking the all-important question to a man who was an invalid for 38 years. “Do you want to be healed?” What a glorious question to be asked by the Creator of the Universe!

  2. Reblogged this on Desire Mercy and commented:
    Do you want to be healed? Jesus asked this question to a man who had been crippled for 38 years. There is no question that Jesus wishes for us to be clean. The only question left unanswered is directed at each one of us: Do you want to be well? The Psalmist declared, “If I had cherished sin in my heart you would not have heard me” (66:18). God wants us healed, but sadly, far too many of us love our sin more than God, and more than the freedom we have come to think is impossible for us. But nothing is impossible for God!

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