Daily Devotion, 12/18/17, Mark 1, “Willing and Able”
“A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. ‘If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,’ he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be healed!’” Mark 1:40-41 NLT
Jesus is willing. In a world full of reluctant people, He is willing. When you find yourself surrounded by so many who don’t want to get involved, He is willing. When it feels like there is no one who cares, no one who has time or no one who is interested, He is willing. Even when you look around and find all your friends and all of those you had counted on are gone, Jesus is willing.
Jesus is willing to listen to you. That’s rare in a culture where so many are so rushed and so busy so often. Everyone has their own problems, their own issues, and their own lives that are filled to overflowing. It’s not that they’re bad friends or bad people, they are just too self-absorbed and overwhelmed by their own story to care enough to listen to yours. Not so with Jesus. Surrounded by a huge crowd of people, He stopped for one outcast leper. We don’t know his name but Jesus did. He knew who he was and what he needed and He took the time to listen to him when others wouldn’t even look his way.
Jesus is also willing to touch you. This part of the story is the most startling to me because people kept their distance from lepers. To be near them and to touch them was literally against the law and for health and sanitation reasons, not advisable. Lepers were diseased, disgusting and discarded people. Some had disfigured bodies and decaying limbs. Just the smell alone was enough to force others to clear a path for them. Jesus could have kept His distance and still healed the man but He did what no one else would do, He physically touched him. For the leper, to be accepted and valued that way was life-changing. My guess is that simply feeling the touch of Jesus was almost as meaningful as feeling the disease leave his body.
With that beautiful and powerful story in mind, remember that Jesus loves you the same way. He is willing. May you be willing also. May you receive all of the life that Jesus is so willing to give to you and may you be one of the rare few who brings His life and His touch to the “lepers” in your circle. You are loved!