Wednesday, January 11

“I am willing.” 

Scripture: Matthew 8

Matthew 8:2–3 And a leper approached, and bowed low before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 He stretched out his hand and touched him saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:5–7 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help:6 “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible anguish.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

Observation

In both of these stories—a leper seeking healing, a Gentile soldier seeking healing for his servant—the supplicant assumes that Jesus is able to heal; the question is whether Jesus is willing. The answer in both cases is “Yes, I am willing.”

I know we can’t draw a straight line from these two stories to every need for healing (then or now) and insist that God is always willing to heal. But…that certainly seems to be His posture all through the gospels where Jesus repeatedly healed all who came and asked. “I am willing.”

Also, don’t miss the fact that both of these supplicants were outsiders or outcasts: an untouchable leper (outcast), a Gentile soldier (outsider). And Jesus was willing…for both of them.

Understanding the Lord’s willingness is key to prayer. If we believe He isn’t willing, we won’t ask.

Application

I don’t pretend to understand the mystery of prayer—answered and unanswered. I don’t pretend to know God’s will in every situation. But I do believe that Jesus, the perfect representation of the Father, showed us that God’s fundamental posture toward us is “I am willing.” And this encourages me to pray, to come to the Lord and ask for His help.

So today, I’m coming to my willing Father and asking for what I need—for me and like the centurion, for those I love. 

Prayer: Jesus, I love You. And I come to You with confidence that You are willing and will gladly receive me and my requests.