Monday, April 4, 2011

I Am Willing; Be Cleansed


Matthew 8: 1-4

Story & Lessons

The leper confessed his confidence in Christ’s ability to heal him.

But he wondered if He was willing to do so.

He asked, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean” (2).

Leprosy was once much feared because it was incurable.

Lepers were shunned lest anyone touching them contracted the dread disease.

Jesus was moved with compassion for the leper and touched him.

That touch would have meant so much to a man who had not been touched for years, except by fellow-lepers.

As soon as Jesus said, "I am willing; be cleansed," he was healed.

Jesus warned him not to tell of this miracle but to show himself to the priest, for ritual cleansing and confirmation that the disease had been cured so that he could return to normal life.

In his zeal, the man disobeyed the Lord and spread the news of his healing.

As a result the Lord Jesus was restricted in His ministry by huge crowds and for a time was unable to go into cities.

Reflection...

We often suffer from the opposite problem – we are silent when we should be witnessing.

Let us have compassion on needy sinners, but beware of an uncontrolled zeal which hinders rather than advances the work of the gospel.

Every person born into this world is afflicted by a plague far worse than leprosy.

The most developed psychology and all manner of theories and therapies have failed to cure it.

I refer to the plague of sin which will, if not cured, lead to eternal separation from God.

The Lord Jesus died on the cross and shed His precious blood so that sinners could be cleansed and made whole.

If we are not a Christian, perhaps we may wonder if he is willing to forgive us.

But if we come to him, He will never turn us away (John 6:37). He still says, "I am willing; be cleansed."

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