Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”
I don’t know if it was a big surprise to the disciples that Jesus didn’t come close to the answer they expected. But that’s what happened; Jesus brushed past the disciples’ management of his time and told them they were going on a preaching trip.
And in the middle of this crusade of synagogue-hopping and casting out demons, a leper shows up, kneels before Jesus and announces, if you are willing, you can heal me…
The subtle difference between the two ways Jesus was approached is like a cold shower to me. The disciples’ approach was like a director telling the actor where to stand. They were reminding Jesus that there was a big crowd gathered demanding more healing. The leper simply bowed before the Master wearing his faith on his shirt sleeve.
The disciples’ behavior is somewhat absurd and dense; imagine reminding God that He is God and has work to do. I don’t ever recall reading in the Gospels that Jesus rolled his eyes over stupid things, but this would have been the time.
The crowds were there at Simon Peter’s house with one thing on their minds – how can I get to the head of the line.
To be sure, the leper had the same thing on his mind – it’s just that the approach was different. The leper’s humility and trust displayed by his total submission touched the heart of Jesus’ compassion.
And that’s a lesson for today – how are we going to approach God in prayer today? Like the crowds pressing-in, will we rush right in and lay out our needs and wants?
Or will we simply bow like the leper, placing our future in His hands?
It’s the difference between my will be done and thy will be done.
For You Today
Take some time to gather your thoughts before you pray today.
Whether it is your practice to physically get on your knees to pray or not, make sure your heart is bowed like the leper on his knees before Jesus.