Where faith meets reality
In 3 of the 4 Gospels, this story is told because I think it tells us something about how God works. There is certainly a wonder in the activity of God. We would all like to know not only HOW God works, but WHEN AND UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS DOES HE WORK….. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus meeting humanity with miracles.
More than once He affirmed “their faith”….consider this statements of Jesus.
“Your faith has healed you, go in peace, you are free from your suffering”
On 2 occasions in the New Testament Jesus uses this phrase “your faith has healed you”
A. Once to the woman with the issue of blood
48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
B. Another time to a blind man
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
In Mark Chapter 9
On another occasion a man with a boy who had an unclean spirit questioned Jesus
“But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 
One questioned if He could
Others were commended for their faith
But still another questioned if He would….. 3 Times in the Gospels….once in Matthew, once in Luke…..and once in Mark, the Gospel writers tell us about this leper…..and it’s in this simple story we find our dilemma for a miracle…..Not can He do it? Or do I believe? But…….Is God willing?
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
What a statement!!!! IF YOU ARE WILLING
YOU CAN MAKE ME CLEAN…..
THERE IS SOMETHING HERE ABOUT CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S POWER.
Let’s learn a lesson from a Leper……If God is Willing……He will do it.
What makes Him decide?
We don’t know…..we just know that on this occasion, Jesus did not rebuke, Jesus did not complement his faith….He just simply said
“I am willing”
Mark tells us He was filled with Compassion
Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
I am willing….be clean
41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
There was no delay in this miracle…. I am willing….be clean….immediately
You may have been waiting for a long time for a miracle like the woman with the issue of blood…..
You may have a chronic condition like a blind man
You may suffer emotionally like the man’s son…..
Hear the words of Jesus:
Anything is possible to Him who believes
Your faith has healed you, go in peace
I am willing, be clean…..
Centuries before this…..a prophet by the name of Isaiah declared:
Isaiah 53:5-6 (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Preachers cannot heal, teachers cannot forgive, books cannot redeem…..
but Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly……
It seems we have become quite skilled at explaining why God does not act rather than expect Him to act….we think our situation too unique…..or too complex….or too minor….
I am willing……be clean
Reach out, and touch the Lord, as He goes by you will find He’s not too busy……
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), Mk 9:22-24.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), Mk 1:40-45.