When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out [His] hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:1-3
Probably the number one question among believers is “What is God’s will for my life?” I’ve heard it said that faith begins at the knowledge of God’s will. In Matthew chapter eight, we see a man encounter Jesus with this same question but in a very specific way. He was suffering from the incurable, debilitating, deadly disease of leprosy, to which there was no hope for him in the natural. He wanted to live and be cured, but without a miracle it would be impossible.
One of the things I find interesting about this is that he didn’t just come up to Jesus and ask to be healed. It was obvious by this time in Jesus’ ministry that word had spread that there was a healer in Israel, but that was not enough for this man. It simply wasn’t enough for him to know that Jesus could heal him. He had to know if Jesus was willing. The same holds true for many today. You can get a lot of “Amens” by saying that “Jesus can heal,” but when you say, “Jesus wants you healed,” you may get a blank look.
Is it best to pray, “Jesus if it be your will, heal me” or “By the stripes of Jesus I receive my healing”? Although the first may be the most common, I believe that Jesus himself makes it clear that He would prefer us to pray the “prayer of faith.” So the difference, just as in the leper man, comes down to knowing if Jesus really wants to heal you.
If we use just the New Testament account of Jesus’ ministry as our guide, then we can see clearly that He healed anyone that was willing to receive. Never once did He put sickness or disease on anyone. Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Look at one of the most well known verses in scripture, John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Again this word saved is the Greek word Sozo which means to be saved, healed, delivered, preserved, protected, to prosper and to be made whole. If that’s God’s will simply stated, then we can believe and receive by faith all that Jesus died on the cross to give us.
What do you need today in your life, your family, your business, your workplace, or your home? Whatever it is, just like the leper, we can hear Jesus saying to us, “I am willing.”