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).
Aside from coping with his physical ailments, the leper would also have to struggle with feelings of loneliness, fear, helplessness, rejection, all of which can be both physically painful and emotionally tiring.
Although this event happened centuries ago, these feelings experienced by the leper may well resonate with us today. In fact, we may have felt at some point this same loneliness, fear, helplessness and rejection brought upon us by various unexpected circumstances. Outwardly, it may appear that we have it all, such as a steady job, a successful career, as well as being surrounded by family and friends. However, if you dig a little deeper, sometimes a different picture emerges. The truth is, even with a picture perfect life, no one is immune from feelings of isolation and a lack of belonging.
However, for the leper, he recognized his need. Undeterred by the crowds and casting aside fears of what people around him might have thought, he did the unspeakable. Bravely, he came before Jesus and with faith he said, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.” Unfazed by this request and without judgement or hesitation, Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the man’s leprosy was cleansed.
Realizing our helplessness or the spiritual void within ourselves is the beginning of healing. There is a solution attainable and available to us. Jesus Christ Himself is our solution. So take the step and come to Him. He will not reject you. He is our compassionate Lord and He is waiting and willing to heal all who come before Him. You just need to ask.
So maybe the question is, our Lord Jesus is willing, but are you?