Wednesday, October 12, 2011
He Will, He Wills to make you Clean
Mark 1:35-45 (ESV) And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.  And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,  and they found him and said to him, "Everyone is looking for you."  And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out."  And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.  And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean."  And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.  And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once,  and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them."  But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. “If you will, you can make me clean.” This is faith. This is Christian faith. The Christian believes Jesus can. If you will, you can make me clean. The Christian realizes that it is beyond his control to make himself clean but it is possible for Jesus to make him clean. The Christian faith is not in one’s self, and what he can or can’t do, but in Jesus who can do everything. This is just as true for us as it is for the leper. In this case Jesus wanted to, he made the leper clean. He doesn’t always do that, and even more rarely does he do it in any miraculous way, not when it comes to the earthly manifestations of sin and death in our lives. We have sin. Sin illustrates itself in us not only in perverted and sick behaviors, but also in things like the common cold. Often when we get sick, we are healed after a time. Sometimes God uses doctors to bring about health. But sometimes he doesn’t. Some of us live for years with ailments. We might question what the reasons are, why God does not heal us. Paul was given his thorn in his side. We trust that God knows best what we need, Yet, Jesus is always willing to make us clean. We know that we cannot clean ourselves of sin. But Jesus does. He cleans us. He cleans us of our sin daily, even as we continue to sin. He forgives us daily and richly, through his word, through baptism, through the Lord’s Supper, confession and absolution. He daily forgives us.