Chapter 27: You Can Make Me Clean

February 27, 2007

“Had the priests known the facts concerning the healing of the leper, their hatred of Christ might have led them to render a dishonest sentence. Jesus desired the man to present himself at the temple before any rumors concerning the miracle had reached them. Thus an impartial decision could be secured, and the restored leper would be permitted to unite once more with his family and friends.” DA267

“He knew that if the healing of the leper were noised abroad, other sufferers from this terrible disease would crowd about Him, and the cry would be raised that the people would be contaminated by contact with them. Many of the lepers would not so use the gift of health as to make it a blessing to themselves and others. And by drawing the lepers abut Him, He would give occasion for the charge that He was breaking down the restrictions of the ritual law. Thus His work in preaching the Gospel would be hindered.” DA267.

Firstly, it’s important to recognize that spiritual healing is of highest priority to Jesus. But this physical (and spiritual) healing was a tricky balance. It’s amazing to consider the hatred of the rulers, who might not have declared the miracle valid if they knew where it came from. Jesus saw that coming. He also saw that it could send a message to the rulers that showed that He wasn’t not unconcerned with the ceremonial law as implemented by God. Next, Jesus had to address the fact that if leapers mobbed Him, others would not come. Or that Jesus might be pressured to heal all leapers, even those who had no faith, and were not as concerned about spiritual healing as this man was. This was a sticky healing with lots of obstacles beyond the prejudice of society towards leapers. And yet, the call of faith will always draw the Savior, no matter the obstacles.

“When we pray for earthly blessings, the answer to our prayer may be delayed, or God may give us something other than we ask, but not so when we ask for deliverance from sin. It is His will to cleanse us from sin, to make us His chldren, and to enable us to live a holy life. … It was to manifest His power to forgive sins that the miracle was performed.” DA270

This should effect how we pray. When we pray for financial security, physical health, a job, a place to live, a relationship to work out, to feel on fire, to be liked, or for the preferred parking place, we should not expect God to bend to our will. Prayer concerning these issues may be very useful in changing our own will. But it is always God’s will to deliver from sin. As my friend Jeff says, “He didn’t die to save us from sin so that we could remain in it.” We may mess up (sin), but the power of sin in the world that holds sway over the fallen nature is such that we might cry out to him. “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” God showed that He was willing. He is willing, and will always be willing.

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2 Responses to “Chapter 27: You Can Make Me Clean”

  1. Jan said

    I love the story of this leper’s cleansing, the mind picture of Jesus touching him; he who had not been touched by anybody ‘clean’ for a long long time. But what I love most is how often the word hope is featured in this chapter. We do have much hope in Jesus…this chapter underscores that.

  2. Carla said

    This chapter was powerful to me. On DA 270, Mrs. White says, “The spiritual healing was followed by the physical restoration.” That is key. God wants my heart. He will make my body whole if He has my heart. That is good news. I can’t wait for the second coming where in a twinkle of an eye we will be changed from glory to glory. An incorruptible body is what I am looking forward to.

    Jesus did have to toe a very thin line. Even in the cleansing of the palsied man. There again, the Pharisees wanted to kill him for blasphemy because Jesus told the palsied man his sins were forgiven. No one but God can forgive sins was the Pharisee’s thought! They did not want to recognize Jesus as one with God. This story makes me think about how I interact with people. Do I see people as “unclean” and remove myself from their company and obviously not “touch” them? I can’t forgive sins but I can lead others to Jesus who can forgive them. I have to be careful that what I say and do in relation to others helps to form friendships that will lead others to Jesus, not cause people to run away. This chapter gives me hope too that with God’s help I can be whole and help others find that wholeness. No one is so vile that he does not deserve the touch of Jesus!

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