To have leprosy in the ancient world was truly an awful thing. It meant you were isolated from people (the disease was highly contagious). You were isolated from God (the religious leaders and Levitical law, deemed you ceremonially unclean). And you were in constant pain as the disease attacked the nerve system. Yet, in spite of all those obstacles, a despised and rejected leper, comes to Jesus, throws himself down at his feet and says, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
In that request, we see the man’s faith in the power of God–“you can make me clean.” We also see his humble request as he seeks to know if it is God’s will to make him clean, “Lord, if you are willing…” He knows Jesus is able to heal him. But, the question is, will Jesus do it? Was it according to his will?
Jesus answers, “I am willing.” More than sweet words to a weathered soul, Jesus does the unthinkable, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the leper! He touched a leper! He certainly didn’t have to touch the man, but he does.
All kinds of studies have been done about the importance of touch. From infant babies to the elderly, touch can be powerful and healing. But, this touch shocked the crowd because it supposedly made Jesus ceremonially unclean (Lev. 13-14). Jesus was breaking the crowds religious categories (something he loved to do!).
Here’s the kicker–the leper wasn’t contagious to Jesus, quite the opposite, it was the healing touch of Jesus that was contagious! The holiness of God in the flesh was contagious! The Kingdom of God was breaking into the real lives of broken and desperate people.
Truth is, no one gets touched by Jesus and remains the same. And maybe that is what you need this New Years–the healing touch of Jesus? Some of you are wondering if…
- Jesus is willing to heal you?
- Jesus is willing to reconcile your marriage?
- Jesus is willing to help you overcome the darkness of depression and anxiety?
- Jesus is willing to get you out of whatever mess you are in?
Jesus’ answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. He is willing, but he alone knows what’s best for you and for His Kingdom. But every time, we know, that His power is made perfect in our weakness. That somehow, someway, God works all things for the good of those who love him. All things are not good, but God works them for His good.
So, what do you want to be healed from? What pain? What suffering? What sorrow? Do you believe Jesus is willing? Do you believe he has the power? Are you willing to throw yourself down at his feet and ask him? If you’ve done that, will you continue to ask? And will you trust him no matter what his will is?
Jesus is willing to heal. Are you willing to believe?