God’s willing heart.

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 1:40-41

I love this account of Jesus healing the leper.  I love the leper’s display of utter dependence on Jesus, and I love Jesus’ compassionate and loving reply:

“I am willing.”

About a year and a half ago, my pastor was doing a study through Mark.  What he said about this particular section of scripture has stuck with me:  This is the heart of God.

In our pain, our brokenness and our distress, He is willing.

But notice what happens first: the leper comes to Jesus.

The leper does not scoff at Jesus; he does not write Him off; he does not pretend everything is fine; he does not deny his need for help.

No, this leper recognizes his complete and utter depravity; he recognizes his hopelessness apart from Jesus; he recognizes the power Jesus has to cleanse him completely; he humbles himself before Jesus and admits his need for help.  Not only that, but he actually gets down on his knees and begs!

And, in response, Jesus is filled with love and compassion and gives that heart-melting response, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Can you imagine how glorious those words must have sounded to the leper?  Can you imagine how that must have rekindled hope in his life?

We all suffer from our own forms of spiritual leprosy.  Will we admit to our helplessness and depravity and fall on our knees before Jesus, earnestly asking for and seeking healing and restoration?  Or, will we put on our game face, tough it out, and cling tightly to our pride?

Jesus can speak those same words of hope to us, if we’d only come to Him.

God is willing.  Are we?

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