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.
Matthew 8:1, 2 NIV
As the man approaches Jesus with this knowledge, he asked the Lord a question. It is a great question. The heart of it was “Are you willing?”. The man knew if Jesus was willing, the power was available. The matter of willingness is still an issue today. We know that because of who God is, He is able; but because of who we are, we ask the telling request “Are you willing?”.
This dear man was uncertain. The disease of his leprosy had made him incredibly vulnerable to people’s rejection. I am sure he was not a pretty sight. Yet in his obvious physical deformities Jesus reaches out His hand and touches the man. This man was holding himself back because of how others felt about him and how he felt about himself in light of his disease. The disease had profoundly changed him. He was sensitive to people unwilling to come near him. Yet Jesus is reaching out His hand and touching him. This may have been the first touch from a human hand in a long while. Jesus
immediately assures the man saying, “I am willing”. He then powerfully says the words “Be clean”.
When we, through all of our inconsistencies and uncleanness, are willing to hear His reassuring words, immediately something happens within us. Without a moment of hesitation this man was cured. In an instant every vestige of the disease left him. Can you imagine that kind of immediate transformation? It was a stunning moment in which the repercussions of Jesus’ compassion left the man and all those that saw it in a state of awe.
The bible says just prior to this story that Jesus talks in such a way that He amazed people because it was with authority. Now Jesus is amazing people again with his authority over disease. He is amazing them because He is willing to break through all the barriers. He does not allow the obvious to stop the inevitable. His life and His
works are transforming. Jesus is still the same today. He has not changed. He not only is able, but He is willing. His care and compassion for us is unchanging. Today let Him reach out and touch you.