He is willing

5m | Apr 21, 2024

​“When he (Jesus) came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. Right away a man with leprosy came up and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Reaching out his hand, Jesus touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matt 8: 1 – 3).

“Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them” (Luke 4: 40).

If you have been Christian for a while, you will know that there are times when the healings or miracles don’t happen. There can be good reasons, for example, James writes that we can “ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives” (James 4: 3). For as long as I can remember, I have preached that we can’t claim a healing as a guarantee, but when we ask, we come to the One who hears us, loves us and wants the best for us. He is the One who healed back then and can still heal today.

But somehow, I feel I am missing something when I teach that way. I feel like I am making excuses for God. The bottom line is that Jesus was constantly willing to heal and there were times when the gospel writers noticed that every person asking Jesus for healing received it. He also encouraged His disciples (on several occasions) to ask, assuring them they will receive what they have asked for.

Much has been written (and preached) on this subject and depending on your church or denomination’s theological perspective, conclusions will be formed, ranging from an acceptance of suffering instead of praying for the healing, to an expectation of miracles on a regular basis. And anything in between.

Where does the Bible sit on this? A small devotion like this one cannot do justice to that question, but one thing that strikes me is Matthew’s observation that when Jesus was asked if He was willing to heal the leper (make him “clean”), which would also have restored him to his community, He responded in a heartbeat, “I am willing; be clean”. Without hesitation Jesus ministered love and power to those who asked.

Jesus was willing, and on numerous occasions the gospel writers noted his compassion. When we come to the Lord in prayer, we come to the One who is moved with compassion and willing to help.

Jesus’ words and actions always mirrored the heart of the Father. To encourage us to be bold in our asking, he even appealed to our desire as human parents to give the best for our kids. So how much will our Heavenly Father want to give to us? “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 7: 9 – 11).

I still don’t understand why some people don’t receive the miracle they are praying for, but I do believe we come to the One who loves us, is full of compassion and is willing to step in and help us.

In a heartbeat. 

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