We’ve all had miracles of some sort in our lives. How do we react to the miracle? Do we even anticipate it?
In Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-44, and Luke 5:12-14 a man with leprosy seeks a miracle from the ultimate miracle worker. The man hears that this man is in town that has been performing miracles. Maybe, just maybe he would help this poor soul.
The diseased man did not send an email or leave a message. He did not send a representative or a servant. He went personally and sought help. He jumped over the middle-man and went right to the one who called the shots.
But he also went a step beyond that. He went personally and didn’t offer his hand. He didn’t bow down as though to royalty. He dropped to his knees and begged. He didn’t ask with flowery words. He didn’t quote other reknown people. He begged. He knew it could be done. This man had done it for others. The question was if He would do it for a leper.
“Would you please?” No, that is not what he said. His begging was one not of questionability but of confidence. He knew it could be done. “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” “You can” was what he said. He didn’t say might. He didn’t say possibly. He said “can”.
When we are told by the doctor that the test results show cancer, how do we respond? Do we ask for a miracle? Do turn to the ultimate healer and put it all in His hands knowing that He can do it? Do we only ask others to pray for us or do we ask on our knees ourselves?
The humility of the man touched Jesus’ heart. He knew the man’s inner motives. He knew what it cost the man spiritually and emotionally to do this. He blessed him in a way no one else could. He healed him. But the healing went beyond that. It was the fact that the Lord listened and answered that was the true blessing.
The leprosy left him. Just like that it was gone. No more skin disease. No more social exile. He was free in so many ways. What a time of rejoicing!
But here is where it might appear that the story goes in a strange direction. Jesus actually tells the man to not tell anyone. He was to follow the religious laws and go straight to the temple priests so that he could be officially declared clean. That would be like going to the CDC for confirmation that we were no longer carrying a deadly disease. When he was pronounced clean, he was to offer a sacrifice as a thank you to God. That was all Jesus wanted him to do.
Well, like we all probably would have done, he ignored the directions given to him and went about telling everyone about what happened. He was happy. He was excited. He had to tell everyone he met. I know that I would do that if I had a deadly disease and was suddenly cured. Would anybody do any differently?
Why would the healer not want others to know? Why would he want it kept quiet?
Because media presence is usually very interfering when you step into the spotlight, it is hard to see the road in front of you and get all your work done. Jesus healed him because of his humility and faith, but in the end He just wanted to be about His business. Now the paparazzi and the ones seeking blessings from Him were seeking Him day and night. He had to find solitude to concentrate and focus.
So in the end, what do we learn from this? First, we have to come before God with humility and with confidence. The confidence should not be in ourselves but in God’s ability. We need to give it all to Him and not take it back. That is the first step in ultimate healing – total surrender.
Second, a person’s value is not on how we perceive them. This man was considered unclean and could not be associated with or even touched. He was practically exiled. But Jesus didn’t pull back in horror at the disease. He didn’t decide whether He liked the man based on His looks. He saw the heart which was beautiful and seeking perfection. We cannot see the truth until we look beyond the trappings.
Third, some celebrations and thank-you’s should be deliberate. When recognizing someone for their hard work or dedication, there are some that would prefer a potted plant instead of an elaborate banquet. Therefore, they could get their work done as usual and be content in their journey.
You are not too sick to be healed. You are not too bad to be forgiven. You are not too ugly to be loved. You are not a nobody. You are loved. You are treasured. You can be healed.