Our text this morning is Mark 1:40-44 about the cleansing of a leper.
Do you like things clean? Don’t you like a clean house, a clean car, a clean body, clean clothes, and clean speech? Of course, you do. God likes things clean, as well. This leper wanted to be clean. He didn’t want to be unclean any longer. And Jesus made him clean.
Leprosy in the Bible is likened to sin. It starts small and almost imperceptibly. It spreads. You don’t feel it. It destroys your body. It spreads to others.
The leper said to Jesus, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Jesus said, “I will; be thou clean.” And if you come to Jesus with sin in you, and ask him to make you clean, he will. In essence, Jesus would say to you:
Be thou clean in your soul – Mk 1:40-42 – If you are here today with sin in you and you want to be cleaned, Jesus will cleanse you of your sin in salvation just like he cleansed this leper. Jesus had to cleanse this leper; he couldn’t clean himself. Jesus must cleanse you of your sin, as well; you can’t clean yourself [Prov 20:9]. After this leper was cleansed, Jesus told him to offer for his cleansing that which was commanded by Moses [Mk 1:43-44]. We offer the blood of Christ for our cleansing for sin after salvation [1 Jn 1:7-9]. These are things that Jesus has to do for us.
But after we are saved, we need to cleanse ourselves [2 Cor 7:1]. In the context, this isn’t talking about cleaning ourselves after we are dirty, but rather keeping ourselves clean. When you’re dirty from hard work, you okay to be dirty. But when you’re clean you don’t want to be dirty. And when the Bible speaks of us being clean, we’re not to just be clean on the outside [Matt 23:25-27]. Sow’s who are clean return to their wallowing in the mire. They are only temporarily clean on the outside.
Be thou clean in your spirit – 2 Cor 7:1 – You spirit can be affected by unclean spirits [Matt 10:1]. Ananias and Sapphira were saved but Satan filled their heart [Acts 5:3]. You have to cleanse your spirit by staying away from things that make your spirit unclean. The things you hear and the things you see can affect your spirit. So, be careful with music, movies and the internet, for instance. There are things you see and hear that will defile your spirit.
Be thou clean in your heart – Ps 51:10; a clean heart involves clean thinking. “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” [Prov 23:7]. One of the best ways to cleanse your heart is by constant reading of and meditation upon the words of God, applying what you read to what you do. In Jn 15:3, Jesus said, “Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
Be thou clean in your body – Rom 6:19; Col 3:5 – we must mortify the deeds of the body and yield our members servants to righteousness rather than servants to uncleanness.
Be thou clean in your speech – Eph 5:3-4; 12 – we are not to even speak about uncleanness, filthiness, or foolish talking. There are many sinful things going on in the world and “It is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”
Be thou clean in your associations – 2 Cor 6:14-18 Lepers were unclean and had to be separated from those things and people who were clean to keep from making them unclean. Likewise, as Christians, we need to keep our associations clean [1 Thes 4:6-7]. Like a fellow said, “If you are not already, you will soon be just like the people you hang around.”
Conclusion: thankfully, when we get to heaven to be married to the Lord we will be clean [Eph 5:25-26] and we will be arrayed in fine linen clean and white [Rev 19:8]. So, keep yourself clean until you get there.