And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:41-42
If you were Jesus’ personal handler, and you knew what he was trying to accomplish, perhaps healing a leper wasn’t the best idea, and you’d tell him that. It’s encouraging to see that Jesus’ compassion won out.
This dramatic scene was a movie maker’s dream. We should key in on the lines “if you are willing” and “I am willing.” So much of the Christian life is built off this theology. Jesus offered up similar words to his Father in the Garden (Matthew 26:39). In his case, the Father was not willing, for he eyed a higher good.
No, the Christian life is not about self-fulfillment but yielding to God’s will. In the leper’s case things went his way, and he could not contain himself. Despite Jesus’ best efforts to direct the man to follow proper channels, the now walking and talking “Exhibit A” spread the news far and wide.
Particularly irritating to the leaders was Jesus’ propensity to heal the sick and then pronounce that their sins had been forgiven (Mark 2:5). As clean as the leper now was, his faith is what healed him. The outward manifestation was smooth skin, but inwardly the true miracle occurred in the creation of a clean heart.
Follow each prayer with “if you are willing” and you will do well.