Scripture: Mark 1:40-42
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
Oh, the days of my mom telling me to clean my room. I can vividly recall the feeling of irritation that would engulf my skinny, fourteen-year-old teenage boy frame to this day. Fast forward fifteen years and every Thursday at Fellowship Youth, I chuckle to myself as I listen to high school students groan and complain about their current reality of having to constantly tidy up. It’s funny how life works and even more interesting to think that when we clean our rooms, we ourselves don’t become “unclean” but we make what is unclean, “clean” again.
In Mark 1, we come across an individual with a skin disease called leprosy. The contagious nature of this disease resulted in lepers being ostracized and isolated from their very own community. One day, a man with leprosy comes to Jesus begging, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus looks at this man and says, “I will; be clean.”
As immediately as Jesus touches the man, the leprosy leaves and the man is made clean. Instead of Jesus touching the man and contracting leprosy Himself, we see Jesus make what was unclean, clean again. The power of Jesus isn’t just in His willingness, but it’s in His holiness. There is nothing we can do that Jesus can’t make clean. The question isn’t if Jesus is willing to make us clean again, but if we are willing to bring the most unclean parts of ourselves to Him. Like the leper, we can ask Jesus this same request: “If you will, you can make me clean.”
- What parts of yourself or your story have you deemed “too unclean,” dirty, or unworthy for Jesus to heal? What are you afraid of bringing to Jesus? Take some time to pray and ask Jesus to minister to you.
- What would a spring cleaning for your soul look like? What is a daily practice that you can start to grow your relationship with Jesus?
Soul Care Practice
Become aware of God’s loving presence and imagine Jesus saying these words to you: “I will; be clean.” Talk with Jesus about any thoughts, reflections, challenges, and emotions that come up within you. How can you embody these words and follow Christ in your home, neighborhood, and workplace?
Read Jesus’ words again slowly: “I will; be clean.” How did these words shape and guide you today? Pray your thoughts, desires, needs, struggles, and joys from today. As you go to bed, rest in God’s presence.
“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand—I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” (Isaiah 51:16)
Written by Tim Mahan, Fellowship Monrovia High School Pastor