Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is. Until September, there will be no videos.
‘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. Then Jesus ordered him, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’ Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ (Luke 5:12-16)
Lesson: Come to Jesus with the expectation that He is willing to heal, however, if He doesn’t, learn to worship in the waiting.
This is a wonderful story of Jesus’ compassion and power. It's lovely to see Jesus responding to this man's need with a willingness to heal. However, texts like this can also be, as we say, 'a rod for our own back'. Rather than inspiring prayer and hope, this can condemn us if we are not yet healed or if Jesus hasn't yet answered some other need we have. We may ask ourselves, why is Jesus, apparently, not willing in my case? Am I worthless? Am I unloved? Am I not asking with the right kind of faith?...
Come with expectation for healing
I think that the Bible gives us hope and expectation for healing. We should pray or be prayed for expecting Jesus to be willing. Jesus never turned anyone away who came to Him for help and healing. I believe it's possible to come to Jesus expecting Him to heal us while also being able to worship and trust if He fails to do so.
Sometimes we have to wait
Having said that we are to come with expectation, it's the experience of many to have to wait for God to answer various kinds of prayer. God is not our servant, to do as we bid. Waiting for God to answer prayer requires the spiritual fruit of patience. We must simply trust in our loving Saviour while we wait for Him to answer. Remember, the compassionate and powerful nature of Jesus in this narrative remains the same during our waiting as when He answers.
Come to Jesus with expectation that He is willing to heal, however, if He doesn’t, learn to worship in the waiting.
Are you waiting for Jesus to perform a miracle or answer a prayer? Most Christians find themselves in this position. Whether it's prayer for healing, for the salvation of a loved one, or for provision in some way... all of us have to worship in the waiting. Are we honouring God as we wait for Him? Are we honouring God by refusing to accuse Him or ourselves? Are we honouring Him by being faithful and persistent in our praying?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
Until September I'll not be producing a group study. However, if you meet with your group why not simply use one of the devotionals as a basis for your discussion together?