If You are Willing
Once, when Yeshua was in one of the towns, there came a man completely covered with tzara‘at. On seeing Yeshua, he fell on his face and begged him, “Sir, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Each time I read this passage from the Gospel of Luke, I come away with a new perspective. Having read it again this morning, I saw something I had not seen before. First, I want to explore the text’s context.
In the days of the Apostles, tzara’at, or skin-scale disease, was believed to have been caused by sin. There was precedence for this belief. As we find in Numbers 12:10, when Miriam exited the Tent of Meeting, following the confrontation with Adonai over her jealousy of Moses’ relationship with God, But when the cloud was removed from above the tent, Miryam had tzara‘at, as white as snow. This was the primary source for ancient commentators to come to this conclusion. Undoubtedly, the man who came forward to Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, believed his skin-scale disease was caused by sin.
What was it that caught my attention about this passage? Why did he approach Adonai Yeshua with the words, if you are willing? In this context, the word willing has a very specific understanding. In Hebrew, the mind-set of the afflicted man, the word ‘chochmah’ means to consent. Notice the implication here: the man knew he was approaching HaShem, Almighty God, otherwise he would not have asked Adonai Yeshua if He was willing to heal him? Notice he did not ask Messiah if He could heal but are You willing to heal – do you consent to heal. In these few words, the afflicted man is displaying his heart to Adonai and is acknowledging his faith. This interaction clearly follows our understanding, Salvation comes from Grace through Faith, with Faith meaning stepping forward in trust. Thus, the afflicted man stepped forward to ask for healing from Adonai Yeshua, in trust of His being able to heal. Where does Grace come into this picture? Let’s read the next verse, verse 13: Yeshua reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing! Be cleansed!” Immediately the tzara‘at left him. Understanding Adonai reserves the right to show Grace to whomever He wishes, as we read in Exodus 33:19 – Moreover, I show favor (grace) to whomever I will, and I display mercy to whomever I will, Adonai Yeshua did show His willingness. He saw the man’s heart; He knew the obvious contrition there and the desire to walk a different path.
And this is the strong message for us today: If we step forward in trust of His power, displaying our contrition for our sinful behaviours, desiring to walk a different path, He may heal us and remove from us the punishment which was placed upon us, as a result of our sins. His willingness is not automatic; that is, we cannot assume what He will do – this would give us His powers and make us gods. The key here is the condition of our hearts, at the time we step forward towards Him – expectation, based on assumption, or hope, based on righteous desire.
Beloved, the next time you step towards Him for healing, for cleansing, I urge you to do so only after ensuring the condition of your heart is right with Him.
CONSIDER: When was the last time you indicated your desire for Adonai, our Beloved God, to heal you? Do you consider that once is enough? What about the sin that is currently, right now, in your heart?
ACT: I urge you to step forward, right now; ask God to heal you of any impurities that lie within your heart and mind. If you ask, with all sincerity, He will heal you.
PRAY: Abba B’Shamayim, Father in Heaven, You are the King of kings; You are the Sovereign of the universe and You are the Lover of my soul. Abba, I come before you and ask if You are willing to heal me of all sins within my heart, mind and body. Heal me and make me while as snow, in Your presence. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, in the Name of Jesus, Amen
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly and fully.