Thank You, Lord, for Your great forgiveness that enables me to come into Your presence.
Read Luke 5:12–16
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.[a] 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.”
13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
a Luke 5:12 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does God’s power and God’s love intersect in your life?
“Why would a loving God allow suffering?” is one of Christianity’s commonest FAQs. Several uncertainties and insecurities underlie that question. Is God loving? Does he care about our suffering? Is God powerful? Can he do anything about it? Is God willing to get involved? Despite his debilitating disease, the leprosy-sufferer in today’s story wasn’t plagued by any of these questions. His “prayer” (12c) is an honest, humble, yet profound, statement of faith.
The Law pronounced those suffering with leprosy as “unclean” and ordered strict isolation from the community. For the man to dare to approach Jesus (12b) radiates confidence in a love that would not reject him. He is convinced of Jesus’ power to heal: “You can make me clean,” yet stops short of “claiming” healing as if it were an entitlement. He is honest about what he wants, yet humble in his expression of it and submissive to the Lord’s sovereignty: “Lord, if you are willing…” This same attitude is reflected in Jesus’ own difficult prayer: “Abba, Father… everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
This man with leprosy believed that Jesus was ready, willing and able to help. He had confidence in both the power and love of the Lord. Do we?
When turning to Jesus for healing or help, is the dominant note of my prayer despair or hope? Doubt or confidence? Insistence on my way or submission to God’s will?
Lord, like the leper, let me have confidence in Your power and love.