The Gospel Of The Kingdom – Be Clean

By Pastor Juliana T Akinbami

Understanding Leprosy in Biblical Times

Definition and Background

What is Leprosy?

Leprosy, known in the medical community as Hansen’s disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacteria *Mycobacterium leprae*. It primarily affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes, resulting in skin lesions and nerve damage if not treated early.

Physical Implications in Biblical Times

In biblical times, leprosy was perceived not just as a physical ailment but as a deeply disfiguring condition associated with uncleanness. The physical symptoms could range from white patches on the skin to severe disfigurement and debilitating disabilities. Symptoms also included numbness, which could lead to injuries due to a lack of sensation.

Social Implications in Biblical Times

Socially, leprosy was surrounded by a significant stigma. The Book of Leviticus, particularly chapters 13 and 14, provides extensive instructions on how to deal with leprosy, emphasizing isolation from the community to prevent the spread of the disease. This isolation was not solely for medical quarantine purposes but also carried a ritual impurity connotation.

1. Isolation and Exclusion: People diagnosed with leprosy were isolated from their communities and required to live outside the city walls. They were deemed ritually unclean and, thus, not only physically but also spiritually isolated from the religious life of their communities.

2. Ritual Impurity: Leprosy made an individual ritually impure—unable to participate in temple rituals or festivals, which were central to the communal and religious life of the children of Israel. This aspect of ritual impurity added a layer of spiritual suffering to their physical distress.

3. Identity and Perception: In biblical times, lepers were often seen as being punished by God for sins or moral failures, adding a moral and ethical dimension to the disease. This perception could alter a person’s self-identity and status within their family and community.

3. Economic Hardship: The social exclusion extended to economic activities, with many losing their livelihoods and becoming dependent on charity or state support. Their ability to work and contribute economically was significantly compromised, exacerbating their poverty and isolation.

5. Psychological Impact: The diagnosis of leprosy could lead to severe psychological distress due to isolation, stigma, and the progressive physical effects of the disease. The loss of social contacts and the significant change in one’s life trajectory could lead to loneliness, depression, and a sense of hopelessness.

4. Responsibilities of the Community: The community had the responsibility to support and enforce the isolation of lepers, but there were also prescribed rituals for cleansing and reintegrating a healed leper, showing a pathway back to community life if the person was declared clean by a priest.
(One of the movies that touches on this social isolation is a 1959 movie classic called Ben-Hur.)

Understanding these aspects of leprosy in biblical times provides crucial context for interpreting our text and appreciating the implications of Jesus’ interactions with lepers.


40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Continuing from last week:

Mark 1:41 is a powerful verse that encapsulates the nature of Jesus’ ministry and his approach to those suffering and marginalized. The verse reads: “Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!'”

1. Moved with Compassion

The phrase “moved with compassion” is central to understanding Jesus’ character and actions. In the original Greek text, the word used for “compassion” (Splagchnizomai) is deeply expressive, referring to a feeling that originates from the bowels or deep inner parts. It suggests a strong reaction to the suffering of others—not merely pity or sympathy, but a deep, empathetic sharing in their pain that compels action. In short, Jesus is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.

Let’s examine how the compassionate nature of God is reflected in this encounter:

Immediate Response

Jesus’ immediate response to the leper’s plea for healing demonstrates God’s readiness to act upon seeing human suffering. God’s compassion is not delayed or indifferent but prompt and responsive.

Deep Empathy

The phrase “moved with compassion” indicates a deep, emotional connection to the sufferer’s plight.

Breaking Social Norms

Jesus’ action of touching the leper broke the “law”, Lepers were not meant to be part of mainstream society. By touching the leper, Jesus sent out a clear message of inclusivity.  By touching the man, Jesus not only heals him but also restores his dignity and community standing. This act of restoration is a hallmark of divine compassion—seeing beyond the disease and recognizing the inherent value of the person. This gives us the confidence that nothing can ever disqualify us from the compassion of God.

Restoration Beyond Physical Healing

The healing of the leper goes beyond mere physical restoration; it includes social and emotional restoration.

Model for Us Believers

This act of compassion serves as a model for us, showing how we are to respond to the suffering around us. Just as Jesus was moved by compassion to restore and heal, we should also embody this compassion in our lives, reaching out to those in need with empathy, action, and a disregard for inconvenient social conventions.

Let Us Pray For Personal Restoration

Lord, renew my spirit daily and cleanse me from all unrighteousness, just as You restored the leper. Let Your mercy wash over me, creating in me a clean heart (Psalm 51:10).

Father, heal my mind from the scars of past hurts and disappointments. Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit (Psalm 51:12).

Heavenly Father, touch my body with Your healing hands. Restore my strength and health as You did for the leper, so I may serve You wholeheartedly (Jeremiah 17:14).

Lord, mend any fractures within my marriage (or significant relationships). Guide us in love, patience, and understanding, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25).

Protect my children, Lord, and lead them on Your path of righteousness. Restore their innocence and joy, and let them grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).

Provide for my family’s needs according to Your riches in glory. Restore our finances and bless the work of our hands so that we may not lack any good thing (Philippians 4:19).

Father, God, be our refuge and shield against the schemes of the enemy. Restore our peace and security under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 91:4).

Lord, deliver us from any curses affecting our family lines. Let Your truth set us free and restore blessings in place of curses (Galatians 3:13-14).

Father, deepen our relationship with You. Restore our first love for You and help us grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:4; 2 Peter 3:18).

Guide us in our careers and callings. Restore clarity in our vocational paths and bless our endeavours for Your glory (Colossians 3:23-24).

2. Reaching Out and Touching

The act of reaching out and touching the man with leprosy breaks significant cultural and religious taboos of the time. According to Levitical law, touching a leper would make Jesus ritually unclean. However, Jesus prioritizes man’s healing and restoration over strict adherence to ritual purity. This action signifies a radical departure from societal norms, demonstrating that human need and compassion override ceremonial law. (We see this also when Jesus referenced the fact that David and his men ate the shewbread which was not lawful for him to do).

Manifesting Divine Power

By touching the leper and healing him, Jesus showcased His divine authority to cleanse and heal. In the Old Testament, touching something unclean would make the person unclean as well, but in this encounter, Jesus reverses this effect—His touch does not defile Him but instead purifies the leper. This act is a testament to His power not just over physical ailments but also over the ritual laws themselves.

In essence, the moment Jesus reached out to touch the leper, He illustrated His mission to heal, love, and disrupt the status quo for the sake of a higher kingdom—one where love is the highest law. This powerful example beckons us to follow in His footsteps, using our lives to extend God’s kingdom through acts of bold love.

Pray for Healing

As members of the body of Christ, you have been given the authority to heal the sick.
Should you suffer from any ailment, assert your authority in Christ Jesus by placing your hands on your head.
Have faith that His divine power is flowing through you, bringing healing to you (or your loved ones).  It is written that when you lay hands on the sick, they will recover.
As you pray the following prayers, maintain a posture of faith and expectancy, trusting in the power of God to work through your act of faith.

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before You with faith in Your promise and power. Your Word declares that as believers, we are the body of Christ, and through Him, we have the authority to heal the sick and declare freedom from affliction. Today, I exercise that authority given to me by Christ Jesus.

[If praying for yourself, lay your hands on your head. If praying for someone else, visualize your hands upon them or physically do so if possible.]

Lord, I lay my hands upon myself (or the name of the loved one) and believe with complete trust that Your divine power is flowing through me right now. Your Holy Spirit is at work, healing all forms of sickness, pain, and disease. I declare healing and restoration for my body (or the body of [name of the loved one]). By the stripes of Jesus, we were healed and made whole.

I am seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus far above sickness and diseases, far above the spirit of infirmity. I rebuke every illness, every infirmity, and every discomfort in the name of Jesus. I exercise my authority over you and command your assignment against my body (or body of loved one) to be rendered ineffective.

Your Word says, ‘They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover’ (Mark 16:18). I believe in this truth and claim this promise right now. Let Your healing virtue flow, restoring health, strength, and vitality.

Thank You, Father, for Your compassion and grace that allows us to call upon You in times of need. I trust in Your mighty power and love, knowing that nothing is impossible with You. May this act of faith reflect the confidence I have in Your ability to heal and renew.

I thank You and praise You for Your healing touch and for restoring health. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

3. “I am willing”

Jesus’ response, “I am willing,” is a powerful affirmation of His desire to heal and cleanse. It reflects God’s will for restoration and wholeness in human lives. This statement also confronts any notions that God is indifferent to suffering. Jesus reflects God’s heart, which is always inclined towards healing and salvation rather than judgment and exclusion.

When Jesus responds with “I am willing” to the leper who seeks healing, this simple yet powerful statement speaks volumes about God’s character and the heart of the Gospel. Let’s delve into why these three words are so significant:

A Personal Touch

Jesus’ words, “I am willing,” remind us that His ministry was intensely personal. He didn’t just heal bodies; He touched hearts and transformed lives. Each healing was a personal encounter, showing us that God sees and cares about each individual’s battles and burdens. This personal approach to ministry is something we are all called to emulate, reaching out to meet the specific needs of those around us with the same attentiveness and care.

An Invitation to Trust and Imitate

Finally, Jesus’ willingness invites us to trust Him more deeply and follow His example. It reassures us that we can come to God with our problems, knowing He is both willing and able to help. Moreover, it sets a standard for how we should live and interact with others—embracing a willingness to help, heal, and serve generously and bravely.

Give thanks

Dear Lord,

Thank You for showing me through Jesus’ words, “I am willing,” how deeply You care about my wellbeing and restoration.
Thank You for not being distant or indifferent to our sufferings.

I am grateful that You see me as an individual, with specific needs and challenges. You don’t just heal; You touch hearts and transform lives.

Thank You for inviting me to trust You more fully. Knowing that You are always willing to help reassures me and strengthens my faith.

Lord, may my life continually reflect my gratitude for Your willingness to embrace and renew us all.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

4. “Be clean!”

The command “Be clean!” is authoritative and immediate. It shows Jesus’ power not only over physical diseases but also his authority to restore social identity and community standing.

As I pondered on this statement, I was led to examine the word “be,” and this is what I found about the word BE:

Existence: It can indicate existence or presence.
  • Example: “I am because God is”
State or Condition: It describes a state or condition.
  • Example: “He is joyful.” “She is whole”
Identity: It identifies who or what someone or something is.
  • Example: “A new creation in Christ Jesus.”
Location: It shows location.
  • Example: “Seated In heavenly places.”

When Jesus tells the leper to “be clean,” the word “be” is powerful and directive. It serves as a command that not only heals the leper physically but also restores him socially and ritually to his community, from which he would have been isolated due to his condition.

From this statement, we can derive several insights:

1. Immediate Transformation: The command “be clean” indicates an immediate change or transformation. It’s an authoritative declaration that brings about instant healing.

2. Restorative Power: The statement highlights the restorative power of Jesus’ words. By saying, “Be clean,” Jesus not only heals the leper but also restores his dignity and place within society. His words cannot return empty, the moment Jesus said “BE” everything in the body of that leper had to obey the command of Jesus in order to “become.” what Jesus commanded him to be.

3. Holistic Healing: The healing is not just physical but holistic. It encompasses physical health, emotional well-being, and social restoration.

4. Divine Authority: “Be” in this context also underscores Jesus’s divine authority. His words alone are sufficient to enact healing, demonstrating His control over illness and impurity.

5. Faith and Obedience: The leper’s approach to Jesus, asking to be made clean, and Jesus’ response, indicate the importance of faith and obedience. The leper believes in Jesus’ ability to heal him, and Jesus commands the healing to occur. Jesus will respond to your faith and mine.

This use of “be” as a command in this context reflects the transformative power of divine intervention.

A Sign of the Kingdom of God

This moment is a powerful sign of the Kingdom of God that Jesus came to proclaim. The healings are a sign that the Kingdom has come. Luke 11:20, Matthew 12:28.

Encouragement to Faith

Finally, “Be clean” encourages a response of faith from both the leper and those who witness this miracle. It demonstrates that faith in Jesus’ power can lead to transformative results, encouraging us to trust in His willingness and ability to act in our lives today. Are you ready to receive all the “Be”s that God has commanded in your life?

First, here is a list of scriptures that I want you to read, and may your spirit be open to receive what the Lord is saying:

1. Mark 1:41 – When Jesus heals the leper, He says, “Be clean,” and immediately the leprosy leaves the man.

2. Matthew 8:13 – Jesus heals the centurion’s servant by saying, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” The servant is healed at that moment.

3. Luke 17:14 – When Jesus encounters ten lepers, He tells them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed, essentially fulfilling His command to “be clean.”

4. Mark 5:34 – Jesus says to the woman who had been suffering from bleeding for twelve years, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

5. John 5:8 – To the man paralyzed for thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus says, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” The command implies an immediate return to health. This was after Jesus asked him in John 5:6 – “do you want to be made well?”

6. Matthew 9:22 – Jesus turns to a woman who touched the hem of His garment for healing and says, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” The woman was healed from that moment.

7. Acts 9:34– Peter heals Aeneas, saying, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately, Aeneas got up.
When the command comes, it is done immediately.

Let Us Speak over our situations.

Eternal life is in me, the words that I speak they are spirit and they are life. Truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord (Micah 3;8)

In the mighty name of Jesus, I declare divine health over my body. Every cell, every organ is functioning in the perfection God created it to function. I rebuke sickness, disease, and infirmity, and claim healing through the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5).

I speak peace over my mind and emotional balance over my heart. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

I declare that Jehovah Jireh is my provider. I am not in want, for my God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). I am blessed to be a blessing.

I proclaim that no weapon formed against me shall prosper and every tongue that rises against me in judgment, I condemn. I am covered under the blood of Jesus, and no harm shall befall me or my family (Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 91).

I declare that I have the mind of Christ and the wisdom of God. I make decisions aligned with God’s will, and I am led by the Spirit in all areas of my life (1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 8:14).

I decree that I am growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am strengthened with all power according to His glorious might (2 Peter 3:18; Colossians 1:11).

I speak unity and love over my family and my relationships. God has given us a spirit of harmony and not of discord. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Romans 15:5; Joshua 24:15).

I declare freedom from every form of bondage and stronghold in my life. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. I walk in liberty and victory (John 8:36).

I affirm that I am called according to God’s purpose and that my steps are ordered by the Lord. I fulfill my God-given destiny with excellence and integrity (Romans 8:28; Psalm 37:23).

I proclaim that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I am filled with thanksgiving and praise, knowing that this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus (Nehemiah 8:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I declare this and it is so, I have commanded and it stands in Jesus’s name, amen.


As we conclude our prayer reflections on the powerful passages of Mark 1:40-44, we are reminded of the truths revealed in Jesus’ interactions with the leper. Through our prayers, we have invoked the same spirit of healing, compassion, and restoration that Jesus demonstrated.

May the prayers spoken and the scriptures proclaimed resonate deeply within you, stirring up a renewed trust in the Lord’s willingness to intervene in every aspect of your life. Hold fast to these truths, and let them anchor you in every storm and guide you in every decision. Walk boldly in the assurance of God’s promises, as you bring light and hope to those around you.

To complete this weekend’s Watch, we will share communion together. Join us on YouTube and Instagram. If you cannot join the live recordings, they will be on the platforms. 

All handles @thewatchersprayerministry. 

Thank you for joining this weekend’s watch

I love you

Pastor Tee