Matt. 8:2

Henry Mahan

"And behold there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean." (Matt. 8:2.)

I'm not sure that the number of times a truth appears in the Scripture has anything to do with the importance of it, but it is interesting to note that this incident is recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

I would say that the manner in which this man approached the Master is an example to be followed by all who would seek His grace and mercy. If you are an unsaved person whose sins are very great and very heavy – this is the way to approach Christ. If you are a believer going through great trial, sick in body, unsettled and unsure of your interest in Christ, or needing wisdom - this is the way to approach Christ. He is the fountain of life. He is the source of all mercy, grace, and blessings. God, the Father, has given all things into the hands of Christ. He is able to perform all that He promised. He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him. He is able to keep us from falling. He is able to raise our vile bodies and make us like Himself. If you receive anything from God it will be in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

But how do I come to Christ? How can one so unworthy, so sinful and so diseased approach the Lord of Glory? You can and should come like this leper came.

Justice is ours to demand! We have earned the wages of sin and can expect to be paid in full. But mercy and grace are His to give according to His sovereign will. God must deal with you in righteousness; He may be pleased to show mercy!

"If Thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus to be Lord," said the apostle, "and believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "What think ye of Christ?" Even in His greatest humiliation, marred and spit upon, the thief recognized His glory, greatness, and Lordship!

The essence of sin is "I will" (Isa. 14:13-14). The essense of holiness is "Thy will be done" (Luke 11:42). If we approach the Master in order to obtain mercy the prayer of our hearts and lips will be, "Lord, if You will You can save me!"

He can make us clean, righteous, and acceptable before the Father because of Who He is, what He has done in our room and stead, why He did it – that God might be just and justifier, and because of where He is now – at the right hand of God. Not only is our Lord willing to save, but, thank God, He is able to save. He has "all authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given Him."

"Make me clean." Purge me and I shall be clean, "wash me and I shall be whiter than the snow." It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth us from all sin! Come in the right way, to the right one, for the right thing, and you will hear Him say, "I will; be thou clean!"

Henry Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.

[Top of page]