Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Matthew 8:2.
There was a man who was a lonely figure in the country of Palestine in the days of Christ. He had been driven from the city, from home, from friends, from all loved ones. He had no more friends; he was a wretch of humanity, dirty, disheveled. His clothes were in rags, his skin was eaten away, and parts of his body were gone. He was a victim of one of the most loathed diseases of all the East. He had leprosy! He sat by the roadside publishing his mournful condition by crying, “Unclean, unclean!” But he heard of Jesus, of how He’d raised the dead, opened blind eyes, forgiven people’s sins. Ah, sin was what plagued his heart. Could Jesus somehow do anything for him?
This man thought and pondered and planned and hoped, until one day he began creeping along the road toward a lakeshore. He was looking for that large crowd around Jesus. As he came to the crowd, some of those on the outer fringe saw him. They fell back in horror and began to rebuke him, to get him to leave. This happens many times among human beings today. Remember this: it is human nature that a person who desperately needs attention, and seeks it, repulses other people. But never does he repulse Jesus Christ—never!
As this man came to the edge of the crowd, he was rebuked, but he could not be stopped. The crowd fell back in fear, but as they did, a way was made for him to get to Jesus. This poor man came into the presence of Jesus. As he came, he fell on his face in front of Him, right there on the ground. He said, “Lord, if You will You can make me clean.”
He had tried everything! He had tried doctors, he had tried will-power, he had tried “trying.” He tried friends who had finally deserted him. He had tried everything he knew of, until there was only one choice left for him. “Lord, if You will You can make me clean.” Immediately the words came from Jesus’ lips, “I will; be thou clean.” And he was made whole from that very hour!
A heart still incapable of goodness but capable of love is accepted. God accepts the person, not for what he is, but for what God sees he can become, through the indwelling of Jesus Christ.