July 1st 2020
This week I want to zoom in on our Lord Jesus. I have been reflecting on Jesus and the leper of Matthew 8. Please walk with me and have your mobile phone ready to take a picture of how Jesus operated. Today we journey into the words described by a friend of mine.
Usually our mobile phones’ pictures are taken at close range. That is the thought I have in mind here: I want us to get within close range of Jesus; I want usto walk in Jesus’ footsteps, stay on His heels while we follow His story,listening to Him and learning from Him.It might be that we are challenged, inspired, or comforted by Him. Please come and walk along with me by dwelling in His Word.
The willing Jesus
Scripture: Matthew 8:1-4 NIV
- When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
Leprosy was considered to be so hard to cure that the Pharisees believed it was something only the Messiah could do. It was a horrible disease. It alienated, disfigured and stigmatised. Those who had it were feared, shunned and avoided. That man should not have been there. He must have been very desperate to face the crowd.
“When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him…”
Just imagine the backdrop of this incredible story: the crowd is pressing in around Jesus, and getting to Jesus, the man has to push through the crowd to reach Jesus. Maybe, to do this, he disguised his condition with long sleeves and a hooded robe. Perhaps the people in the crowd wrinkled their noses as he passed, because of the stench from his horrible, festering wounds. When he throws himself down before Jesus, the crowd recoils in horror.
Now there’s a clearing in the crowd and in the middle: Jesus and the man.
Listen to the man’s plea: “If You are willing, you can make me clean.”
See the man’s humble acknowledgement of Jesus’s sovereignty.
He knows Jesus doesn’t owe him anything.
He is placing himself completely at Jesus’s mercy.
Zoom in and take the picture…
Try to imagine the expression of Jesus’ face; His body language. “Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him”, a tender gesture of love and compassion.
“I am willing; be clean!”
Jesus was willing to obey the Father, to step down, and to come as a servant to carry His cross, to die and only after the resurrection to take up His crown again. (Phil 2:5-9) Jesus is willing to feed the poor, to heal the sick and to reach out to the lost (Luke 4:18-19).
- Hear Jesus words: “I am willing!” repeat it and receive His words yourself.
- In your relationship with Jesus, in what way do you need the ‘willing’ Jesus, more in your life?
- How ready are you to receive his touch on your life (peace, comfort, gratitude, or joy)?