“Our Lord’s answer is simple, brilliant and devastating. Had the Pharisees grasped its significance and followed it through, their lives would have been completely revolutionized. Doctors do not visit those who are well, but those who are sick. Jesus was teaching these men important lessons:
He was rebuking their misdirected zeal. They were concerned for the glory of God and for moral purity, which was commendable. But God’s concern for His glory and for purity among men had led Him down through history to visit His sin-diseased people to heal them. If the Pharisees were really anxious to see men and women become holy, then their separation to God should have led them to a loving commitment to the people, to show them God’s way.
He was exposing their false holiness. If their so-called ‘holiness’ expressed itself only in criticism of sinners and not in caring for them, it was not the kind which God wanted, nor the type that Jesus exhibited.
Think of the modern-day surgeon. He ‘scrubs up’ before his operation. Why is he so careful to be clean? In order to help those who are diseased. True holiness is like that, replied Jesus. My holiness is like that. It is not contaminated by my eating with these sinners. Rather, it seeks to make them whole and holy too.” Sinclair Ferguson, Let’s Study Mark
I am so grateful for Jesus, our Great Physician. I’m grateful that He is willing to take his clean, holy hands and dive right in to our gangrenous, sin-diseased flesh. He’s up to his elbows in our mess — cutting away, cleaning out, sewing up.
Like the leper who falls prostrate before him, imploring him, “If you will, you can make me clean,” we kneel before him. And He is moved to pity, filled with gut-wrenching compassion, and he reaches out his hand and he touches us — he touches us in all of our messy, sin-stained state — and He says, “I will, be clean.” What a Savior!