40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Jesus was indignant.He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
The man with the skin disease is desperate and begs Jesus to heal him. He is on his knees and looks to Jesus for a way out of his isolation, pain and frustration. He is unable to change his present circumstances and he believes that Jesus has the power to save him, but there appears to be some uncertainty on his part as to whether Jesus will use that power to heal him. Oh that sounds so familiar!
How often do I find myself in a situation where I can’t save myself and need help? How often do I want to beg God to get me out? How often do I think yes God could move in this situation and then straight away question whether or not He will move? How often do I give up before even asking? How often do I get in a huff because I want to be able to fix everything myself? Too often!
But what do we see in this recount concerning the man with the skin disease? We see him step out in faith and dare to ask Jesus for healing. And how does Jesus respond to this request? It says He is moved with compassion. It’s just a skin disease. Not a world war. Not a famine. One man. Afflicted by a disease. And the Son of God, when He hears this man’s heart cry for help, is moved with compassion for him. Compassion, as in He shares in the man’s sorrow and has a strong desire to alleviate his suffering. Jesus has the power to heal him, but far more amazing to me is that He WANTS to heal him. He says it to the man himself, “I am willing.”
Do I grasp that reality? Really? Do I comprehend that the Son of God has time for my requests, He shares in my sorrows and frustrations and He WANTS to help me? Wow! God, next time I come face to face with my own limitations help me turn to you. Help me to trust not only in your ability to help me but your willingness to get involved on my behalf. Thanks God. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh