Is He Willing

Today in my reading I found my attention stuck on a short little story about Jesus healing a leper. There are a number of profound and practical things we can take away from this great story. Have you ever wondered how we should approach God? What about if God cares about you and the things going on in your life? How are we to live and respond to God? These three verses deal with all of that and some, join me.

Matthew 8:2-4
2 And a leper approached, and bowed low before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”3 He stretched out his hand and touched him saying,”I am willing. Be clean!”Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 Then Jesus said to him,”See that you do not speak to anyone, but go, show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Maybe you are like me and you really want to, no need to experience God in you life and maybe, like me, you have things in your life that you need healed. If you are then you can relate to this leper. He had a horrible skin disease that literally would have ruined his life and be killing him. This guy finds Jesus and basically asks him the age old question, “do you, God, care about my life and are you willing to get involved?”. Well Jesus was God in the flesh so he was already involved in the world but would he be involved in this guys life.

We see as this leper asks this question of Jesus he bows or humbles himself, he does not approach God with demands or tests but a very real and deep question. How are you approaching God? With arrogant demands or humble questions? The leper had a real disease but he did not question if God could heal him, if you believe in God by definition he is God and can do anything. The question is, “is he willing?”. Not just is he willing to heal but will he get involved in your life? Does he care or is God hanging out some where doing his thing or playing cosmic chess with other Gods? No matter what your questions for God are you have to approach Him humbly understanding he is God and can do anything.

So the leper asks Jesus if he is willing to get involved, to care about his life, his hurts, his pains. Jesus responds with reassurance that he cares and will get involved and heals him completely. Now God may not always respond the way we would hope but remember the question is not really about healing the disease it is if God is willing. Jesus lives as God in the flesh and suffers death for humanity because He is willing. He is a God that cares and that is willing to get involved. So then the question goes back to you, are you willing? Are you willing to trust Him?

After this man experiences God and God’s healing in his life Jesus says something that might seem odd. Jesus tells him to obey what the law says and present himself to a priest as a testimony to what God has done. There are a few things we can take from this. God cares about the way in which he has set for humanity to live. There is a right way of living and it is important to God that it is upheld. However, he did not send him and say do this and then I might be willing to heal you. Our problem is that we try to do the right things SO THAT God will heal us or intervene in our lives. However, by Grace through faith in Jesus we obey and try to follow God’s path because He already has intervened in our lives. Are you working yourself to the bone trying to live the right kind of life so that God will intervene? If you are, you are missing it my friend. God is willing to intervene by grace right now, not because of anything we have done but because that is who he is.

Now if God has intervened in your life, now you know why we live for God, it is because He has intervened and healed even though we did not earn or deserve it. Our pursuit after the ways of Jesus is our way of saying thank you, we love you. Not our way of saying please.

There is one more really cool thing. I love it that Jesus sends the lonely, abandoned leper to testify to the priests. More of our churches need healed lepers running in during the service yelling, “I’ve been healed”. We are in love with knowledge and entertainment and all the while the church is missing the testimony of the leper. Maybe, God is calling you this week to testify to your class, service, group, or church that you have had an encounter with one who is willing. Who will be bold enough to be the leper this week that God’s testimony (story) might be known. Don’t leave it to the payed guys, remember they are the ones Jesus was sending the leper to that were missing it all as they sat at the temple.

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  1. May 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    If only I had a buck for each time I came to jasoncarlettini.wordpress.com.. Amazing writing.

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