Throughout this passage, we see Jesus cleansing those who were “unclean.” He of course cleansed the leper of his disease, but more importantly he also cleansed Peter, the paralytic, and Matthew of their sins.
But it’s Peter that I want to talk about today. In verse 8, Peter cries out to Jesus,
Go away from me Lord, because I am a sinful man.
I don’t know what sin Peter saw in his life, but what strikes me is what Peter didn’t see. That the day would come when he would deny Jesus three times.
But Jesus knew. And yet he told Peter,
Don’t be afraid, from now on you will be catching people. (10)
Fast forward to after the resurrection in John 21. Now Peter saw his own failings even more clearly than he had in Luke 5.
And yet Jesus tells him, “Feed my lambs. Shepherd my sheep. Feed my sheep.”
I think part of what Jesus was telling Peter was, “Yes, you know your sin and your failures. You see your uncleanness. But by the blood I shed on the cross, I have now cleansed you. Now with the humility that comes from knowing not only your weakness, but the grace you have received, go and take care of my sheep who are also weak and in need of grace.”
As we grow as Christians, we like Peter will see our own weaknesses and failures more clearly than before. Sins that we weren’t aware of before, we become aware of.
But let us not grow discouraged. As he cleansed the leper with a touch, so he cleanses us. And now he tells us, “Don’t be afraid. Join me in my work. Join me in touching people who are hurting because of their sin.”
And so with humility, knowing our weaknesses and our sins, but also the grace that we have received, let us touch the non-Christians around us. And let us also touch the Christians who are also hurting because of their own weaknesses and failures.
Humility and gratitude should mark us as Christians. If they don’t, it’s a sign that that we haven’t fully grasped the grace we’ve received yet.
Honestly, I’m still not as humble and grateful as I should be.
So with the leper, I cry out, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
How awesome it is that we have a Savior that says, “I am willing. Be made clean.”