Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I Am Willing

Chuckle:  "If all the people who fall asleep in church were laid end-to-end they'd be much more comfortable."
Quote: "Every act of kindness and compassion done by any man for his fellow Christian is done by Christ working within him." --Julian of Norwich

A man with leprosy came to him (Jesus) and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said." "be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured (Mark 1:40-42 NIV).
A cursory reading of this passage can lead us to make a serious mistake by viewing it as nothing more than one among many of Jesus' miracles of healing. As amazing as the healing of this man is, the symbolism of something much more profound and miraculous becomes clear as we prayerfully consider this exchange between Jesus and the leprous man.
"If you are willing, you can make me clean." In faith, the diseased man who said these words knew Jesus could heal him and make him clean. He saw himself as unclean and helpless to cure himself. In desperation, he approached Jesus with boldness and great faith and begged to be healed. He came to realize that Jesus was his only hope for cleansing and restoration into society that viewed him as an unclean outcast.
In order for us to be healed and cleansed spiritually we must see ourselves as spiritually sick and unable to cure ourselves. Max Lucado says we must see ourselves as "beggars in God's soup kitchen." It is only as we see ourselves in this light that we will humble ourselves before God and beg to have our sins forgiven and receive His eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
"Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man." In the society of Jesus' day, no one would dare to risk being infected with his disease, or being declared ritually unclean, by touching the leprous man. Like the leper, each of us is unclean before God and unacceptable to be in His presence. But Jesus' love and compassion makes Him willing to reach out His hand to the leper and to each of us. That willingness is demonstrated by His atoning sacrifice on the cross to heal us spiritually and cleanse us from sin. In love, He reaches out His healing hand to touch us and make us clean.
"Jesus said, "I am willing. Be clean!" This assertion by Jesus that He was willing and able to cure the man of leprosy reminds me of His unconditional love and compassion for all people as revealed in these words: "But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NIV). By healing the man, physically, Jesus made him clean and acceptable in the eyes of society. By healing us spiritually by His atoning death and resurrection, Jesus makes us clean and acceptable in the eyes of God. Praise!!
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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