He Is Willing

When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:1–3

If you have entertained doubts about Jesus’ willingness to heal you because of your sins and shortcomings, I want to show you how Jesus healed someone who was disqualified and considered unclean under the Levitical law. Matthew 8 takes place at the Mount of Beatitudes right after Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, and it opens with the verses above.

One of my favorite places to visit in Israel is the Mount of Beatitudes. A number of years ago, I climbed up to where Jesus could have sat while He preached to the multitudes below, then I walked along a path that I realized led all the way to Capernaum.

I had always imagined Jesus going down the mountain toward the multitude, but I realized that if He had, it wouldn’t say “great multitudes followed Him.” Very likely, He had to be walking down another side of the mountain toward Capernaum for the multitudes to follow Him. Just one verse after Jesus healed the man with leprosy, the Bible tells us He entered Capernaum (Matt. 8:5), so that makes sense to me.

As I walked along that path, I came to a huge pile of rocks on the side and noticed other slabs of stone strewn nearby. All of a sudden, I felt the Lord arrest me, and He began to give me an inner vision. I saw how the man with leprosy could have hidden under those rocks so he could hear Jesus preach without being seen by the multitudes. Had he been seen, being unclean because of his leprosy, people repulsed by his condition might have hurled stones at him to drive him away.

I saw the anguish of the man whose body was covered with leprous sores and raw, exposed flesh, and who had also been forced to isolate himself and be cut off from his loved ones so he would not contaminate or defile them (Lev. 13:45–46). I saw the desperation of the man who threw himself before Jesus, worshiping Him as he said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” And I saw the beauty and the majesty of our Lord Jesus as He touched the man with leprosy and pronounced, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

In that moment, the Lord didn’t just restore the man’s health, He also restored his humanity.

That Jesus touched a man with leprosy is amazing. Under the law, when the clean touches the unclean, the clean becomes unclean. Our Lord Jesus was showing that under grace, when the clean (Jesus) touches the unclean, the unclean becomes clean! Jesus did not contract defilement by touching the man with leprosy—He banished it. Beloved, He will do the same for you.

This devotional is adapted from the book The Healing Power of the Holy Communion—A 90-Day Devotional.

If you or a loved one are facing a health issue, know that we are praying for you. We would also like to encourage you to read "How do I walk in faith and wisdom as I look to the Lord for healing?" to help you build your faith as you wait for your breakthrough.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.