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Friday, May 16, 2014

Risking Everything to Receive

“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' And immediately the leprosy left him” (Luke 5:12-13, NIV).

Disfigured, dressed in tattered rags, his face hidden by rags, a man watches Jesus. His body is covered with leprosy. Risking stoning, the leper rushes to Jesus, and falls down with his face in the dirt at his feet. Without raising his head he entreats, “Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean.” This leper knows that to get within six feet of someone who is clean means that he risks death. His determination to come to Jesus and his statement “if you are willing” reveal remarkable faith. 

There isn’t a question in the leper’s mind if Jesus can heal, but if he is willing. In the leper’s sudden approach, Jesus recognizes the man’s willingness to risk death in order to be healed. Jesus touches this man whom the law has decreed to be unclean. “I am willing,” Jesus proclaims, and heals him. Skin once ravaged by lesions, now suddenly appears clear and unblemished. 

This man has risked stoning to death in order to seek healing, and his determination has found reward. But not only his determination has made him rush to Jesus. His faith has spoken “if you are willing you can make me clean”. This leper had faith enough to believe, and faith enough to risk everything in order to receive. He was willing to risk stoning or death even if healing was not in Jesus' will. 

Do you have this kind of faith? If you step out in faith, it is a risk that guarantees a greater faith. It is a risk that approaches the Savior knowing He has the power to heal, but that the decision to heal or to grant your petition is not yours to make. Just as the leper you are willing to risk all for something that you might not receive. The leper risked everything; he persevered, and received. You also need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:36). In your risk and determination, and in His will, your promise is received.

Are you willing to risk everything? You will discover, just as the leper, that Jesus honors your risk. He knows the cost. You rush forward to Him, and He declares you clean. There's no more ugliness and scar of sin. You have risked death in order to receive life. He lifts you up to receive greater faith, and all the promise that your surrender has secured.

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