Sometimes in order to receive something, we just have to ask. For example, unless you tell people that you are having financial struggles, they will not know you need help and will not offer it. However, I have noticed that when people find out someone is in need, they want to help. We may have a lot of hurt and pain in this world, but overall, people still care about each other. My church has a few ministries that are designed to help people in our church who are having financial struggles; however, unless someone asks for help we do not necessarily know that they would benefit from those ministries. But asking for help isn't easy...I understand this so much because it is hard for me to ask for help when I need it. Asking for help requires us to step outside of what is comfortable and humble ourselves in the process. Today, I am reading about a man who took great lengths to ask for help and healing from Jesus; please read his story in Matthew 8:1-4.
Our story today is about a man with leprosy. Something these verses don't tell us is the Mosaic law in regards to a leper and what he/she was supposed to do when they were in a public place. A person with leprosy was to live in isolation until they were considered clean (which for many people meant isolation for the rest of their lives). When they were in public a person with leprosy or any other serious skin disease had to tear their clothing, leave their hair uncombed, cover their mouth, and call out, "Unclean! Unclean!" (Leviticus 13:44-46). Can you imagine the public humiliation the man who came to Jesus had to endure on his way? The journey through the crowd to get to Jesus could not have been easy, except that I'm sure people moved quickly to get out of his way. Think on this for a moment...he was coming to Christ yelling out the whole time, "Unclean!" But he was willing to risk the public humiliation in order to have Christ declare him clean.
Notice, also, what he said to Jesus once he reached Him: "If you are willing you can heal me and make me clean." I just have to stop for a moment because that statement practically brings me to tears. First of all, his faith shows that he knows where his healing and cleansing comes from. Until we understand and truly believe that only true healing and cleansing comes from Christ, we will continue to cry out in our souls, "Unclean!" But the thing Jesus says that does bring me to tears is: "I am willing." Oh, how much life and hope is breathed into that phrase! He is willing! Do you understand that Jesus is willing - so willing that He made the greatest sacrifice this world has ever witnessed in order to heal our wounded hearts and make us clean?
We have too many people walking around defeated in this world believing that they are subject to a life isolated from their Creator because they are unclean. Jesus just wants us to come to Him. The invitation has been made; the sacrifice is complete - we just need to humble ourselves and call out to Him, "I am unclean! You can heal me and make me clean!" He is willing and He will cleanse your heart. The humility it takes to make that journey isn't easy, but it is worth the promise of eternal life that Jesus has extended to all who believe and follow Him.
Have you allowed Christ to heal your heart and declare you clean?
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.