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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 1:40–45

A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. (NRSV)

The leper did not hesitate to approach Jesus with his request. Passionately, he declared, “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”What a bold act. In that day, lepers were socially and religiously excluded from community. The leper violates the law by approaching Jesus, and in turn, Jesus breaks custom by touching the leper. The compassion Jesus had for the leprous man bypassed traditional constraints.

What an incredible display of faith by the leper. A faith strong enough to risk the consequence of violating law to satisfy the belief that Jesus was able to heal his condition. In confident trust, the leper reached out to Jesus for help. The leper knew that Jesus was the person he claimed to be, and he knew without doubt that Jesus had the divine power to perform a much-needed miracle. I like the fact that the leper did not hide his need; he was not hesitant to present a request to Jesus and, in gratitude, was willing to receive the touch of Jesus.

Only believe! Have faith in God. Trust the Almighty for every need. Believe in the One who is able to do anything and everything. Have confidence that Christ can heal the loved one who is sick. Know that God is able to provide the job that seems impossible to find. Accept as true that God can change any human condition.

Do you need a miracle in your life today? Do you have the faith and courage to present your request to God believing that it will happen?

Gracious God, increase my faith and give me the courage to present my requests to you. Fill me with the same compassion you consistently show in every time of need. Help me to be honest about my needs while spiritually sensitive to the needs of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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