Battle of the Wills
Updated: Mar 26
Verse 12b “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Leprosy is a disease that causes severe skin sores that is treatable with modern medicine but in Jesus' day it was something that would cause a person to be outcast and shunned. It would also cause dis-figuration and nerve damage. It was so bad that people who had it would have to call out to anyone walking by so that people could keep their distance.
The man in today's story was in advanced stages of the disease. He was likely disfigured and in great nerve pain but his agony was not limited to the physical, as being in the advanced stages meant he wouldn't have been around his family in some time. It is in this sad state that Jesus came upon him.
Upon recognizing Jesus, the man fell into the posture of respect and begged Jesus, as Lord, to heal him "if you are willing." Notice that phrase, "if you are willing."
Does that phrase sound familiar? Have you ever said, "Not my will but Yours be done?" Did you mean it? What does it mean to want His will not ours? It means to decide we want His way no matter if it makes us happy or not. No matter what. It means accepting His will even when it doesn't match ours; maybe even especially when it doesn't. It is saying that we trust Him to do what is best, not just what we think is best.
This form of surrender to Him is one of the hardest. Especially when it has to do with a loved ones healing, or something we want badly like a child, spouse or job.
Imagine this man's relief when Jesus said, "I'm willing." With his acknowledgment that Jesus had the right to deny him his request, he was saying that he trusted Jesus above himself. That Jesus' way was better than his.
Making it personal
What is a situation in your life that you are fighting against Jesus' will about? Are there more things than one in your life that you are saying you want His will on but are holding out from full surrender? What is it in these situations that has you not trusting Him?
Making it personal kids
Do you sometimes disobey your mom or dad because you don't like what they want you to do? Are there things that God says to do that you find hard to obey? To obey God and your mom and dad means you trust them. Show them that today by obeying!
Father God, we are sorry that we don't always accept Your will. Please give us the wisdom to surrender fully to You. We love You. In Jesus' name, amen.