The God Who Is Willing
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”
“If you are willing…”
What do you think are the three most impactful words anyone could ever say to you? “I love you”? Yes, that could be it -it’s true that many people long to hear those words.
Jesus said three words to one man in the Bible that I’d venture to say were probably the most impactful words anybody ever said to him in his life. “I am willing”. Those three words changed the man’s life forever.
The man was a leper. In Biblical times leprosy was not the same disease we know today. Infected people were banned to the outer limits of the town, declared unclean. Can you imagine the loneliness and rejection these people must have felt, cast out from their families, friends and society? As their bodies went through the terrible physical ordeal of leprosy, no one would come near them, let alone touch them.
No one, that is, except Jesus.
This man must have been used to people turning away from him in revulsion. His words to Jesus reveal what was in his heart – the expectation of further rejection, while at the same time faith that Jesus was the one who could bring healing; the hope that this man with burning compassion in His eyes might see past the outward appearance; So he approachedJesus and said “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean”
Three Impactful Words
Jesus was moved with compassion for the man. He answered the man “I am willing.”
Jesus did what no one else would have been willing to do; He reached out and touched an “unclean” leper. It says in this verse that the man was instantly healed.
In reading this story, I believe that what moved Jesus’ heart was the man’s faith and courage in coming to Jesus, despite the rejection and fear of the townspeople and his own fear that Jesus might reject him.
He knew Jesus could heal him. He said it; “you can heal me and make me clean,” Mark 1:40
I wonder had he been watching Jesus from a “safe” distance for a while; as Jesus touched and healed others. Or had the hopeful news filtered back to him in his lonely place? If we back up a little bit in the chapter to Mark 1:28 it says “The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.”
So desperate was this man for healing and so convinced that Jesus could heal him, that he just couldn’t stay hidden in the shadows any longer.
The man came to meet with Jesus and didn’t go away disappointed! When we draw near to Jesus, rather than hiding in the shadows, He more than meets us halfway. We don’t even need to utter those words “if you’re willing”, Jesus is always willing to heal; emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Jesus still heals today. I have seen it with my own eyes, and I have personally experienced healing.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”.
Jesus is exalted to the highest place; enthroned in Heaven – he isn’t a flesh and blood man, walking the earth now, but He’s still the same Jesus who healed and delivered people two thousand years ago and His Holy Spirit still walks among us today, touching and transforming hearts and lives. Every drop of blood that trickled down His bruised and battered body as he hung there, dying for you, conquered death and won your healing: Isaiah 53:5:
“he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
“He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:3–5
Every time you feel the sting of rejection, the hurt of betrayal, the heartache of grief – remember that Jesus faced these things too. He found refuge in the presence of His Father, by drawing close to Him, by communing with Him – setting an example for us to do the same.
Sometimes we can feel like that leper – we feel we can’t come to Jesus with our hidden ‘stuff’; our secret sins and habits. They seem too shameful. But like the leper, there is nothing about us that will ever make us repulsive to Jesus or exclude us from his presence.
When we come to Him in humility, confessing our sin to Him He promises to lift us up again James 8,10
Jesus is Willing. He was willing two thousand years ago and He is willing today. The question is, are we?
The man with leprosy came out out of his hiding place – his “comfort zone”, sought Jesus out to say to Him “You can heal me.” Are we Willing to do the same?
PS: Below is a link to a handmade necklace in the Mustardseed Range of my Etsy Shop Miss Maisie’s Wee Shop. To view better photos, read the description & story behind this necklace or purchase the necklace, simply click on the text below, which will take you through to the shop. 👇🏻