"And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.' Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed.' Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, 'See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.'"
Matthew 8:2-4 (NKJV)
This story begins with Jesus being away on a mountain. He has just come down to begin His travels. With hardly a chance to collect His thoughts, multitudes of people appear and begin following Jesus yet again. These people truly want to find Jesus- the Man who has exactly what each of them needs. Though none of these people know exactly “what” that need is, they know Jesus has what they are looking for.
On His way, Jesus is met by a leper; a man who worships Him.
How do we know this?... because the leper calls out with the title "Lord," honoring Jesus as Master and God. The leper then asks Jesus to make him “clean” as opposed to “better,” therefore reaffirming that he knows Jesus can heal him. The leper understands who Jesus is, he simply isn’t sure that Jesus is willing to heal him. While the leper knows He can, clearly he isn’t convinced that Jesus wants to.
Isn’t that like us? We know that Jesus has the ability to do a miracle in our lives. However, often, despite Jesus’ desire for all people to be completely healed, we doubt His willingness to do so. The leper was no different. Left on his own, he had no hope of improvement. So he came to Jesus with a great sense of need and desperation, just as we do.
Let’s go a little deeper… In this particular story, leprosy is a picture of sin. It begins beneath the surface of the skin—just as sin does. It eats away at our health. It keeps us from right relationships. It creates guilt within our conscience. It wreaks havoc on our minds. Like this man’s leprosy, if it isn’t destroyed, eventually, sin will destroy us. However, in His goodness, Jesus doesn’t leave the leper broken. Instead, He heals him. The moment the man asks,
Jesus delivers him from his sickness. He makes him whole. In turn, the leper goes out from that place, and begins proclaiming all Jesus had done.
I wonder... What is your approach with God? Are you bogged down by sin? Do you come to Jesus expecting Him to deliver on His promises? Or are you unsure if He is willing? I want to encourage you today. He is willing. He is the One. Come and worship Jesus. Let Him know what you need. Then, you too, can go and proclaim what God has done for you!
Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what my circumstances depict, You are always willing to “cleanse” me. Help me to realize that Your heart is for me; that all I have to do is come to You. Let me see my leprosy, so that I will be desperate to come to You for cleansing. Help me overcome my doubts and know just how much You love me. Help me take that next step toward You.
In Jesus' name, Amen
What are you showing on the outside that is a representation of what's on the inside?
How are you going to take it to Jesus?
Who will you share it with?