I’ve taught Sunday school for years but a recent convergence of several county flu bugs left me without students one Sunday morning, so I got a break and got to sit in on the class my husband teaches. (Side note: If you are a teacher, make sure you have opportunities to be taught.) Here’s what we learned.
When [Jesus] 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 (NKJV)
We don’t have much experience with the disease of leprosy these days. But we can certainly identify with being marginalized, with being an outcast, with the desperate need for the touch of Jesus Christ. In these few verses, this man gives us a pattern worth following when we seek wholeness.
1. He came and worshipped.
The crowds tagged along behind Jesus, but this man got close and he worshipped Christ. It was an act of faith, humbly approaching and acknowledging Jesus. That engagement was necessary for his restoration. In the same way, our restoration begins when we come before Christ with a full recognition of who He is and a grasp of who we are before Him.
2. He understood sovereignty and power.
He never questioned Jesus’s ability to heal him, but he recognized that everything, his suffering included, was governed by God’s will. Even as he asked for relief, he seemed to sense that there were greater purpose in it, even if he couldn’t see it.
3. He had no other recourse.
There were no self-help books, no seminars, no herbal treatments available to him. He couldn’t think positively enough to mitigate his circumstances. His healing and restoration would come only from the touch of God. It is when we stop trying to resolve our issues on our own, and lay them at the feet of Jesus in humility, that we find what we need.
There are even more lessons in these verses. Be sure to tune in next week.