What was one of Jesus’s first healing miracles, and what does it show us about how we may approach God today?
Now with Blog Scripts: A 7 minute listen or read below. Also, at the very end of the post I also share a brief video clip of the scene from the TV series The Chosen.
In our teaching episode last week, we ended with an encouragement to find a way to remind ourselves throughout the day that God is near. I hope if you listened to last week’s teaching episode that you have found a method to do so. Also, if you remember from last week’s episode, we want to start re-training our brain to recognize and to readily remember that “God is near.” Some call this “practicing the presence of God.” The people who are walking with God, who are having spiritual breakthroughs, and who are growing closer to Him, are those who have truly mastered this simple skill skill, or this ability, to keep God in mind throughout the day – to keep His Spirit near.
Today we are going to look at one of Jesus’s first healing miracles, when Jesus healed the leper. I’m going to read the passage first, beginning in the first chapter of Mark, verse 40.
"And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching him, and falling on his knees before him, and saying”
– listen carefully now to how and what he says –
‘If you are willing, you can make me clean.’
Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and he touched him;” (he touched the leper), “and he said, 'I am willing, be cleansed.' And immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.”
There are so many directions we could go with this passage and these words and instructions from Jesus. But today I want us to focus on two things:
The first is this: Notice how Jesus interacted and intervened in the lives of others during his ministry. Jesus never strapped on his sandals in the morning and went out for the day and specifically went looking for people to physically heal. He did not go door to door and looking for someone who might need his help or need his service.
Jesus provided these miracles and healing to people who came to him. See, Jesus was near in this town on that day – just as today in a spiritual sense God is near to us. And Jesus, when somebody came to him, and entered into Jesus' space, and said in a humble way, a very humble way “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” That is when Jesus intervened.
The scriptures clearly reveal this pattern - when you look at how Jesus intervened in people's lives, he never forced his way in. He never – like I already said – he never went out looking for people to physically heal. And this is in line with what we are told in the Old Testament about God. In 2 Chronicles 16:9, it says that God is looking down upon the earth for hearts that are turned up to Him, so that He can help them greatly. The exact wording is “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely his.” The Hebrew word for support is pronounced, in my Texan accent , it is pronounced hit-ha-zech and it does imply “strong support.” When he looks down, and we are looking back up – he is ready to provide strong support for us.
So God is near, and He is waiting for us to come to Him, so he can help us immensely. So the first thing that we know and remember is that He is near, and then, just like the leper knew that Jesus was near in that town, God is near to us always thankfully – but we may not expect Him to just intervene when He sees we need some help - we have to come to Him.
So that is point one. And then the second point for us to focus on today - is the way the leper asked for healing. “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” That is the way a prayer request is made that allows the Holy Spirit to flow through and to work. When we come to Jesus, not with a sense of entitlement, when we come to him with a sense of humility and understanding, and we need to respect him for who he is, and we need to respect Him for whatever decision He makes regarding our request. And we, We don't deserve anything; but if he is willing, he can do it.
That type of attitude, that type of attitude, that humbleness - is rewarded by God. And we see that in the examples of the people who approached Jesus in the New Testament and received intervention from Him.
This teaching episode was short today, but let’s close by reviewing last week’s teaching and this week’s together:
First: Remember that God is near, throughout the day. Do something to help yourself remember His nearness throughout the day.
Second: Go to him, with all your needs and requests as well as your thankfulness. He is looking for you to look up to Him so He can hit-ha-zech for you – he can strongly support you.
(Keep scrolling down to the very bottom for the clip from The Chosen.
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ.
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Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans