Lord, If You Are Willing

And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Matthew 8:2-3)

During Biblical times, leprosy was a very fearful thing. Anyone suspected of contracting leprosy would first have to go to the priest for an examination. If leprosy was confirmed, that person was then required to leave his family and community. Ostracized from society, the leper would have to suffer further indignity of showing people he had the disease by wearing torn clothes, keeping his hair unkempt, covering the lower part of his face and crying out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as he had the disease, he remained unclean and had to live alone, away from others. (Lev 13:45-46).

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Worship Him in Times of Distress

Upon reading Job chapter 1, I questioned how Job was able to worship God when his loved ones and all of his possessions were stripped away from him all at once, beyond human reasoning.

From the actions Job took, we can learn how to worship God during times of trials and tribulations. He immediately ‘fell to the ground and worshipped’ (vs 20). He simply did not make time to complain or murmur. Instead, he remembered who God is, and praised Him. Though it is clear that Job was in deep sorrow, his emotions did not distract him or move his faith. He was wise to know that to endure these sufferings is better than to curse, sin or charge God with wrong (vs 22). Described as ‘blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil’, it is clear Job had established a strong and immovable relationship with God. He had not allowed his possessions and children to become idols in his heart, as he understood that God is the Creator of all things. Thus, when he was hit with such great calamity, Job found his source of strength in God, and was not easily overcome.

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He Suffered for Us

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (1Pet 2:21)

Jesus Christ suffered for us. He endured much pain and sorrow while doing good for us. Jesus suffered physically throughout His trails, torture, and crucifixion. He suffered emotionally as He was rejected by many, especially when all the disciples deserted Him and fled when Jesus was arrested. He suffered spiritually as He cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46) Jesus was crucified to bear our sins. The suffering of Jesus Christ was God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

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Jesus’ Food

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (Jn 4:34)

Every time church service ends, we always seem to find ourselves spending a considerable amount of time thinking of where we should grab dinner.  Food is a necessity and also something we look forward to when we’re about to eat something that we have been craving. But when we look at this passage, Jesus actually turned down the physical food that His disciples were offering Him to eat, and placed emphasis on the food that we should long for — doing the will of God by sharing the message of salvation.  Have we ever felt that way about preaching? Is that something that we would “crave” to do?

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