Mark 1:40-42 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Consider for the next few minutes that you are this man. Assume that you were a farmer with a wife and a daughter – that your home was filled with laughter and love. One day it becomes clear that something is radically wrong. You cut yourself and don’t even feel it. You and your wife realize that it is leprosy and that you must leave, never to be with them or see them again. Imagine the pain of saying goodbye. This disease makes you unclean and an outcast, forever separated from family and friends.
Some years pass and you hear about this amazing man from Galilee named Jesus. You hear the stories of people thronging to him because of the miracles he is doing – and not just a few. But he’s healing all who come to him! No one has ever had this kind of power to make the blind see and the cripples to walk. Imagine the glimmer of hope that would begin to stir within you when you first heard of the miracles. The thought through your mind that maybe – just maybe – this Jesus could and would heal you!
You finally decide that you are going to find him and see if that which was unthinkable could possibly happen. People are going to react negatively because you, an unclean and untouchable leper, are going to have to get through the mob surrounding him. But the glimmer of hope is now a beacon drawing you to this man named Jesus. You have nothing to lose.
Upon finding him, you experience something that all the stories of miracles and wonders had not prepared you for. After kneeling before him and begging him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” – you look into his eyes and see them filled with compassion! Compassion for you! He is not telling you to get away, but instead is reaching out to you! He touches you!!! And as he does, he says, “I am willing,” and “Be clean!”
And then it happens! The leprosy is gone and you are whole! Think of the smile you see on Jesus’ face and the joy in his eyes as he watches your transformation. Think of experiencing that moment and try to imagine the wonder and glory and power and jubilation of that moment exploding within you! Your entire world has just been radically changed!
To be continued…