If You Will
August 25, 2020
And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean" (Matthew 8:2).
It is often said the word ‘if’ is the biggest little word in the English language. It has all the possibilities of great achievement and all the potential of great adversity. In the Greek language the word translated ‘if’ is ean and, in this text, should be understood as something that will probably happen in the future.
When the leper approached Jesus, he knew Jesus could heal him, but he didn’t know if Jesus would heal him. He believed in the power of Jesus to heal (probably from those who had been witnesses of His healing powers), but he wasn’t sure Jesus would extend that same compassion and mercy to him.
Jesus responded to the leper, I will; be clean. Two simple but profound and powerful words in the original Greek language. Albert Barnes said, “The act of putting forth his hand and “touching” him . . . expressed the intention of Jesus to cure him, and was a pledge that he “was,” in fact, already cured.”
What was the motivation behind Jesus’ response? He healed the man because of his faith. Lepers were not allowed to leave the designated area or ‘colony’ where they were to live until they were healed or had died. In coming to Jesus he violated the ceremonial law, but he honored the law of faith - hope in action, belief that is active. Jesus, in touching the leper, also violated the ceremonial law, but His willingness honored the law of love.
The leper believed Jesus could heal him, so he made his way to Jesus. He didn’t know if Jesus would heal him, but his faith in Jesus caused him to believe Jesus would heal him. That’s how faith works. When we truly believe and trust in Jesus for who He is, we will also believe anything is possible with Him - according to His will for us.
“Lord, thank You for Your compassionate love, grace, and mercy that is able to rescue us from the ravages and affects of sin. Thank You for the gift of faith that causes us to believe, no just with the mind and heart, but with our very lives. Thank You for this example of faith, proving to us that it can indeed move mountains in our lives if we will actively trust in You. To Your glory and honor I pray, Amen.”