Be Clean

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Judges 7-8; Luke 5:1-16

12 Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean.” Instantly, the skin disease left him. 14 Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Instead,” Jesus said, “go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them.” 15 News of him spread even more and huge crowds gathered to listen and to be healed from their illnesses. 16 But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer. (Luke 5:12-16, Common English Bible)

I can’t begin to tell you why, but I don’t like to get my hands dirty. I don’t mean that in a metaphoric way at all. I, quite literally, do not like to get my hands dirty.

I know I am not alone. Over the past twenty or so years, I have worked quite a few UM ARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-out Ministry by Youth) camps. One of the more popular places around camp was the showers. There quite possibly is nothing that feels better than a nice shower following a good, hard-working day out in the hot sun of East Texas. You come in soaked in sweat and that is only half of the story. Most of the time you are covered with dirt from being down digging in the dirt or covered with paint.

One year I worked a camp in Daingerfield Texas. The first day was really hot. She didn’t have much to say when she came in from her job site. She went in, got her stuff for the showers and left with her work team for the local high school where we showered and otherwise cleaned up. Some 30 or 45 minutes later, she returned. As she walked through our main activity room she said, “Ahhh, I feel like a girl again.”

Such is what we think about when we think of being unclean. Our hands, our feet, or our whole body is dirty and we need to apply a layer of soap and water to get clean.

In the Biblical era, that was not what being unclean meant. Skin diseases, like leprosy, were very common and very contagious. Because of them being contagious, the infected person was an outcast from society and was, by law, when they saw a person coming, was to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” so the person approaching would know they needed to avoid contact with these folks. I imagine it didn’t do much for one’s ego at all.

Jesus comes along and as he walks through town, this man who has a skin disease said to Jesus, “If you want you can make me clean again.” In studying I have come to an understand there is a difference between being made clean and being healed. Many things, not just an illness, could make a person unclean. Until the priests were able to declare the infected person clean they couldn’t rejoin society.

Jesus, as he almost always did, touched him and made him clean once again. Jesus gave the man back his life. When we take the things that rob us of life as we pray, there is a good chance God will take that away too.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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