A leper came to him (Jesus), imploring him, kneeling down to him and saying to him, If you are willing, you can make me clean. Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be cleansed. And as soon as he had spoken, the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
Leprosy is a dreadful disease. It often begins apparently harmlessly. But because it affects the nerves alongside the skin, the infected person loses any feeling of heat or pain. This regularly leads to further infection and injuries. For a long time leprosy was incurable. No-one could help, least of all the ones infected.
These facts make leprosy, wherever it is mentioned in the Bible, an apt illustration of sin. Everyone, without any exception, has been infected by it. and, as in the case of leprosy, the disease of sin leads to ruin and death.
Because of the danger of infection, also called defilement, lepers were isolated. This is no different in a figurative sense. Although the sinful do not lack distractions, sin makes them feel increasingly lonely deep down in their hearts. In addition, they tend to distance themselves more and more from the only One who can help and heal them.
The leper in our account from the Bible assessed his situation correctly. How he longed to recover and be cleansed. When he heard of the Lord Jesus, there was only one thing for him to do: go to Him, the Son of God! Without hesitating or caring about others who might restrain him, he set off. and then we hear him exclaim, “If you are willing, you can make me clean!”