“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean” (Luke 5:12 TNIV).
This man’s condition completely defined his life. He was socially alienated, isolated and vulnerable, and unwell. All that was left was to reach out to Jesus; there is no one else, no other hope, it’s desperate. He brings a simple, almost – request, more a statement really – Lord if you are willing… you can make me clean. He knows what Jesus can do, that He has the authority and power to change his life forever.
Yet for some reason, he’s not confident He will. Perhaps it’s the years of isolation, the rejection. He’s just used to people not wanting to know. Maybe it’s a prayer he’s cried out for years, and nothing happened. Whatever the reason, though he’s confident of Jesus’ power, he’s not confident that Jesus wants reach to him. So the man’s words remain an almost request, a statement latent with longing.
My heart so identifies with this verse so often at the moment! When the pressure is on and circumstances stubbornly refuse to change, when I’m longing for a breakthrough, I wonder if the Lord, notices…me. I know you can God. I know you provide, heal, restore, and deliver. I’ve seen you do that countless times for others. But do you want to do that for me? Can I ask you to do that, only for …me?
As I think about it, I remember that challenging times test not only my confidence in His power, but also in His love. I know He is Lord and King, but He is also my Heavenly Father. It something I have to remind myself of, no matter how tough itis to reconcile with my circumstances.
I wonder where you are desperate, on your knees. Does disappointment suggest to your heart and mind that your Heavenly Father doesn’t see you anymore, that he has forgotten you now? You know He’s able, but is He willing?
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.(Luke 5:13 TNIV)
I love that Jesus touched him, spoke to him, and healed him.
When I read of His touch it reminds me that He is not distant, that he reaches out to us and reaches into our world, even when it’s not whole. His words, remind me that he is compassionate, and that His words can give us life in tough times and remind us that we are loved. His healing reminds me that though the battles are intense, and my prayers aren’t always answered immediately, Jesus is still the God of the breakthrough. What do you need to be reminded of today? His touch? His words? Or His healing?