Take What He Has to Offer
A man with leprosy came to him 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.
Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.
Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Jesus is always willing to heal the broken and repentant–looking through His loving eyes of compassion upon frail fallen flesh. He remains graciously available to touch the untouchable and cure the incurable. His ears are attentive to the “Help me” and “Heal me” and “Save me” cries of the unhealthy, lonely, weary, broken, and other conditions that plagues mankind. The question for each of us is: Are we willing to let Him? Do we want the freedom of His healing touch? Do we want really what He so graciously offers? Sadly, some prefer to remain in their bondage–wallowing in pain and sorrow–when all that is needed is to ask, seek, and find.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Our verses in Mark today instruct us in how to approach Jesus in our infirmities–both physical and spiritual. The leper clearly demonstrates the humility. We must empty ourselves before we are able to be filled. One does not get much lower in humbling themselves than coming forward to Christ on his knees begging. If we wish to receive God’s mercy and grace, we must approach Him with humility and reverence. In God’s way, humility precedes exaltation:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)
This leper had a firm belief in Christ’s achieving power–he believed that Jesus would heal him personally. Jesus loves each individual exactly where they are–stooping low to meet them there. Never forget, Jesus cares greatly about each and every person–our misery is ever the object of His great mercy and tenderness. In unwavering faith, the leper believed that if it was Jesus’ will for him to be clean, he would indeed be clean. Never doubt that God is always good and that it is His desire to do good to His children! It doesn’t matter if presently our circumstances are bad–the promise still holds true. All is grace with God. We are to pray that our trials are mere trails to His loving arms, and our pathway of stones, stairways to heaven. Our Lord will either change our circumstances or change us in them–strengthening, empowering, and lightening our loads that we may rise above them, ever becoming more like Him.
Jesus’ words to the healed leper emphasized the importance of the well man’s immediate obedience. His testimony to the priest and the religious leaders of the day would have been a powerful witness–the cleansing of a leper being an undeniable messianic sign. There is nothing more powerfully convincing than one’s own testimony! What God has done in and through the life that speaks it–who can refute it?
Take It to Heart
Obedience to the Master’s Word is the one of the hallmarks of our love and appreciation for what Christ has done for us. Jesus’ interest in the leper did not merely lie in healing his physical condition. This miracle pointed to who Christ really was–God’s Son.
“Everyone needs compassion; Love that’s never failing; Let mercy fall on me–
Everyone needs forgiveness; The kindness of a Saviour; The hope of nations–
Saviour–He can move the mountains; For my God is mighty to save; He is mighty to save–
Forever–Author of salvation; He rose and conquered the grave; Jesus conquered the grave.”
(Reuben Morgan, “Mighty to Save”)