And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying to him, If you will, you can make me clean.…
There are in this case elements which ought to be found in any man who is suffering from soul disease and defilement.
I. A PAINFUL CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS TRUE POSITION. He looked at his leprosy; felt its pain; knew its disabling uncleanness. The sinner sees his sin as disgrace, a danger, and a disgust.
II. A PROPER SENSE OF HIS PRESENT OPPORTUNITY. Great Healer was approaching; Lord of love and pity was here; representative of heaven passed by. He was drawn to Jesus; prostrate before Jesus; urgent upon Jesus. A present decision; a present acceptance; a present salvation.
III. A PLAIN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE LORD'S POWER. "Thou canst;" I can't; others can't; but Thou canst, I know it, because Thou hast cleansed others; hast power to cleanse; hast come forth to cleanse.
IV. A PRESSING URGENCY CONCERNING THE LORD'S PLEASURE. "If Thou wilt." Perhaps I am too vile. It may be my sorrow may plead. In any case I will take my refusal only from Thee. Observe —
1. The leper makes no prayer. Readiness to receive is in itself a prayer. Uttered prayer may be no deeper than the mouth; unuttered prayer may be evidence of the opened heart.
2. The leper raises no difficulty. He comes — worships — confesses his faith — puts himself in the Lord's hands.
3. The leper has no hesitation as to what he needs — "Slake me clean." As to whom he trusts — "Thou canst." As to how he comes — "A leper." Misery in the presence of mercy — humility pleading with grace — faith appealing to faithfulness — helplessness worshipping at the feet of power. Such is a leper before the Lord. Such is a sinner before the Saviour. Such should we be to this day of grace.
(J. Richardson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.