DayBreaks for 11/29/12 – Being Willing
Luke 5:12-13 (NLT) – In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
Leprosy was, and is, a horrible disease. There was and is no cure for it. While the term leprosy was applied to numerous skin diseases, none of them were pleasant, not only because of the disease itself, but because of how the leper was treated. People under the Jewish system were not allowed to be in contact with those who were leprous. It was a sentence of isolation, and even though this man lived in the village, he would have been unable to touch others, or be touched. He could speak to them, see them as they went about their daily lives: hugging, shaking hands, putting an arm around one another’s shoulder, working together, playing, but he could not participate in any of those things. He was cut off from human contact of any physical sort.
The man’s faith had held strong, though. He’d not given up hope, especially when Jesus came to the village. He begged for healing, issuing a bold statement of faith. But, he put a curious qualifier on it: if you are willing. It makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, how can we know the mind of Christ? How can we know his will in all circumstances? Have we ever prayed for something that we thought was his will, only to find out that it wasn’t his will at all because he didn’t grant that request? I have done so many, many times!
I don’t know, but I suspect that this man, though he begged for healing, was willing to accept Jesus’ mind-set and decision on this matter. He was already a leper…what did he have to lose by asking, except perhaps a little pride if his request was denied (but he probably had little if any pride left anyway).
But the best news is Jesus’ response: I AM WILLING. What that tells us about Jesus is wonderful: 1) He hears us; 2) He is moved by our begging (the parable about the woman who kept imploring the judge for a boon); 3) He is willing to heal and make us whole; 4) He not only is willing (who among us wouldn’t heal the suffering if we only had the power), but He has the power to heal!
I’m sure the leper was thrilled by Jesus’ three words. I would have been. I wonder if I would have been as accepting if Jesus said “no” to my request. It’s hard to accept a “no” for something we really want.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: Father, many have been the times when I’ve prayed for something and instead of asking for it if it is your will, I am trying to instruct you what to do. I’m sorry for my pride. Please help me be willing to graciously accept your will! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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