If you are unsure about where Jesus stands, let this short story reinforce in your heart what is true.
The leper labeled ‘unclean’— therefore an outcast, stepped out of the shadows, humbled himself before Jesus the Messiah, and asked for healing. I noticed he was slightly bolder in his approach. Unlike the woman with the issue of blood, he did not sneak around. But instead presented himself in full view of Jesus. It could be nothing more than him using the privilege his gender offered. But that’s just an aside.
The end of the matter for the leper was good. Scripture says, and instantly the leprosy disappeared (Matt. 8:3). Praise God.
I want to focus on a part that is often overlooked. The leper made a statement that suggests doubt. For someone labeled ‘unclean’, which usually denotes unworthiness, I am not surprised. His shame kept him hidden, and though the length of time is not given, I imagine it was long enough to shred his confidence. If you are willing, he said. As someone with her fair share of rejection, I can relate. The feeling of powerlessness is inevitable for those accosted with reminders of not being wanted or enough. When you see yourself as useless, you become satisfied with crumbs, if any. The leper was used to begging, and it seems, being ignored and hearing no.
But here comes Jesus. Full of compassion, generous in mercy, unbounded in kindness. He looks into the eyes of a leper and says, I see you. You’ve been discarded by man, but I value you. I will touch you even though it’s frowned upon. And so, Jesus reached out and touched him (vs. 3). That would have been enough, but Jesus, like His Father, does not leave things half done. What would it benefit anyone to be physically ‘clean’ but ‘unclean’ in mind? How would the leper, now healed live full if still bogged down by insecurities? His broken mind also needed Jesus’ touch. And so, to quell his doubts, Jesus said, I am willing, cleansing his body and renewing his mind.
No longer on shaky ground, I believe this man went on to live full, fully convinced that he is worthy of love because Jesus loves him. A once blemished man made whole. Complete in Christ.
This lets me know that it is not a matter of if Jesus is willing, but if we are.
I’ll say it again and again until it resonates. Nothing under the sun is new or surprising to God. He is willing and able to heal every kind of disease and illness, body, and mind.
The question is, are YOU willing?
Thank you, Lord, for your willingness to heal me.
It brings me joy to know that I can trust you.
For you keep your word, faithfully watching over every promise to perform it.
I know you love me; the cross is evidence of this. As is the Holy Spirit and your word.
Help my unbelief Lord, so I may live whole and complete in you.
Have a blessed week!