He Is Willing (Matthew 8:1-4)
When He came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed Him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ord 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 cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, âSee that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded as a testimony to them.
This message is from the heart of God for all those precious people who need a healing in their lives but hesitate to ask, or are praying for a breakthrough in a difficult situation and have stopped believing that God will come through for them. There is a breakthrough for you in the power of the name of Jesus!
Modern medicine has effective antibiotics to eradicate leprosy, especially when treated at the early stages. However, in Bible times there were no medical cures, and a person who was found with leprosy had to resign himself to a life of isolation and social rejection, while parts of their body fell apart around them (Leviticus 13 & 14). Affected people had to wear a special cloak to identify themselves, and shout unclean, unclean" as they approached a populated place, so that people would have time to get away from them! Apart from the trauma of seeing their bodies deteriorate from day to day, imagine the heartache of extreme rejection and loneliness, as they battled this painful situation on their own, cast out by everyone through no fault of theirs. In fact anyone who unwittingly touched a leper was immediately considered unclean" and would have to perform all the rituals necessary to be clean" again, isolating themselves until the appropriate time!
This was the painful situation of the man who came to Jesus. He knew that a priest or rabbi could not touch a leper (Leviticus 22). He knew that he should not be among the people in the crowd that followed Jesus. But he was desperate. He had probably suffered for many months or years, as he experienced pain, numbness and the loss of some of his extremities. He must have lost all his friends, and felt the wounds of rejection from his family. As depression set in, he was probably overwhelmed by the hopelessness and the sense of helplessness of his situation. There seemed to be nothing he could do to reverse or stop what was happening to his body. He may have looked up at the heavens many times and said "Is there anybody there?"
Friend, the Lord has heard every prayer you prayed. He has seen every tear you have cried as you looked towards heaven and wondered why there was no change in your situation. Perhaps you have been experiencing a sense of isolation or rejection from those you love. Maybe you have been feeling judged or condemned because you have been waiting for a change in your physical condition and have not still seen it manifested. Maybe you have been feeling like God has let you down, or that it is not the will of God to heal you or help you out of the problem you are facing.
Friend, the Lord Jesus is stepping into your situation today. He is not some distant deity who is untouched or unconcerned by the pain you are going through. He is the one who came down from Heaven to earth to set you free. He came down the mountain especially for this leprous man who felt like he had reached the end of the road. He allowed this socially âuntouchableâ man to come close to him and kneel before him. As this afflicted supplicator humbled himself before the King of creation, He looked upon his plight with compassion and mercy. He heard the cries of his heart. He saw beyond the physical incapacity, the unsavory smells of leprosy, and the disfigurement that the man tried to cover up with his cloak. He reached out His perfect and powerful hand and did what no ordinary priest or rabbi would have done. He touched this man.
The touch of Jesus brought physical healing as the power of the Spirit flowed through those fingers and into the body of the man at His feet. The touch of Jesus also brought emotional and spiritual healing; as He reached out and laid His hand upon this man, He was touching the aching soul and the pain of social stigma. He was touching the wounds of rejection and loneliness; of self condemnation and self blame; He was silencing the voice of the Accuser who had spoken into the life of this man night and day. Jesus was bringing healing to a life that had been broken by the works of darkness; a life that had been affected by an infection transmitted from another.
Precious friend, Paul reminds us today (from 2 Corinthians 1:20): "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are Yes" in Christ. And so through Him the Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God". Remind yourself of the promises of God. He has promised to deliver you from the seemingly endless problem you are currently facing. He has promised to heal you of every sickness, sin, addiction, oppression. He has promised to save your loved ones. He has promised to give you the breakthrough in your financial situation and to bring harmony into your home. He is God! He is able! Those powerful promises come alive when we believe them and receive them for our own personal situations, declaring the AMEN" to them in the name of Jesus who has made all things possible for us.
The leprous man was not really sure he was doing the right thing as he followed Jesus and knelt before Him. He believed that Jesus had the power to heal him, but he was not sure if He would want to. He said "Lord if you are willing". Similarly, most of us believe in the power of God and that Jesus can heal, but we may not be so sure that it is His will to heal or help us in our situation. It is the Father's will to heal. Jesus has already atoned for every sickness and every sin, and it is by His stripes that we are healed! (Isaiah 53:5). If we really believed that, we would be able to say the Amen" to God's promise to heal and deliver. We can see from the reply of Jesus that He always was and is willing to heal and restore! As He laid His hand upon this infectious man, the power of God began to flow through his body. As every cell and tissue was covered by the power of the anointing, his body was healed, his nerves and skin cells were restored, his extremities were recreated, and his life was transformed in a matter of seconds; the lie of satan was reversed in an instant! Hallelujah!
I want to leave you with some thoughts this week, as you believe for the breakthrough Jesus wants to give you, and you walk in faith to keep the healing you receive.
1)Know that Jesus wants to heal and help you. He says so in His Word. He IS willing!
2)Jesus wants you 100% whole - the man was immediately healed!
3)All provision has already been made for your healing and deliverance because of the cross and the blood of Jesus. In the Old Testament (Leviticus 13 and 14), people with infectious afflictions of the skin (such as leprosy) were told to receive prayer and submit to rituals for purification; some of these included the sprinkling of the blood of pigeons and the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb. These were just shadows of the true cleansing and healing power we would have access to when the eternal Lamb of God was sacrificed on our behalf, and His blood brought the power and authority over darkness, which mankind so needed for salvation, healing and wholeness forever.
4)Walk out your faith. Jesus told the man to go and show himself to the priest, (so that his healing would be officially confirmed). I believe that the completion of this man's healing came as he began to do what Jesus asked him to. Do what you could not do before. Divine healing will stand up to the test!
5)Sickness does not own you, and you do not own sickness. It is an illegal intruder upon Kingdom property. We are told that when Jesus laid his hand upon the man and spoke the healing word on him, he was cured of âhisâ leprosy. It had become a part of his life and identity, but it was broken off him that day by the power of God!
6)Give testimony; you are affirming your faith in the good thing God did for you, and when the enemy tries to rob you of what God has blessed you with, you can stand on the words of your testimony and know that it is true! (Revelations 12:11 "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony").
7)Give God an offering of thanks (Leviticus 7:11-15). God says in Psalm 50:23 "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me". Psalm 107:20-22 say "He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy". God loves a thankful heart. We all do!
Friend believe for the impossible! Believe for 100% wholeness because this is what Jesus promises you! Walk in His assurance and know that His promise is yes" and amen" to you today, in Jesus' mighty name!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 29 November 2010
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