So often, when I read the story of Jesus cleansing the leper, I am touched by two words that Jesus uttered. The leper came to Jesus and said, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus said to him, “I will, be clean.” The two words that grab my heart are “I will.” The leper had asked him if he was willing and Jesus replied that he was. That seems to be the heart of Jesus, doesn’t it? He is willing to heal us from the sickness of our sin and for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. to make us clean.
When I think of being like Jesus that seems to be the quality that epitomizes him the most — his willingness. He was willing to leave heaven and come to earth. He was willing to touch and heal many of their diseases. He was willing to forgive sins. He was willing to go to the cross so that our sins might be forgiven and we might have eternal life. He was willing to suffer and die for us.
And when I think of my seeking to live like Jesus, so often the very thing I am lacking is willingness. I may have all sorts of reasons and excuses, but the truth is, I am just not willing so many times. I need the help of God to be willing. I need the truth of Philippians 2:13 to be real in me all the time: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Prayer: Father, you are the One who makes me willing and able. Help me, Lord, to be willing to do your will. Help me to be willing to love as you love and to live in a way that is worthy of the grace you have shown me.