“In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. 'Lord,' he said, 'if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.' Jesus reached out and touched him. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be healed!' And instantly the leprosy disappeared” (Luke 5:12-13, NLT).
Disfigured, dressed in tattered rags, his face hidden by rags, a man watches Jesus. His body is covered with leprosy. Risking being stoned to death, 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 heal me and make me clean.” This leper knows that to get within six feet of someone who is clean means that he risks death. Both 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 death in order to receive healing, and his determination has overcome any fear that would keep him from his reward. Not only his determination has made him rush to Jesus, but His faith has also spoken, “if you are willing you can make me clean.” This leper has faith enough to believe, and faith enough to risk everything in order to receive. He is willing to risk stoning or death even if healing is not in Jesus' will.
Do you have this kind of faith? If you step out in faith, it is a risk that guarantees greater faith. It is a risk that rushes to the Savior knowing He has the power to heal–the power to supply your need, but knowing 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 or 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? To step out in faith? 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. You move forward to ask, and He honors your faith. There's no more ugliness and scar of sin. There is nothing that keeps you from the Savior who gives you new life. 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.