BELIEVE!

WEEK TWO, DAY FOUR, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION

WEEK TWO THEME: PRAYER

DAY FOUR THEME: CONFIDENCE IN PRAYER

SCRIPTURE: LUKE 5:12-16

SCRIPTURE SNIPPET: “Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease.  When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, ‘Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.’  Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do want to.  Be clean.’  Instantly, the skin disease left him.”

PONDERINGS: “Jesus, if you want to…” the man with a skin disease says to Jesus.  This wasn’t a tease or a challenge to Jesus to get him to heal this man with the skin disease – it was the certainty of the man.  Jesus would not have responded to him if it were merely a challenge, a tease or sarcasm – Jesus just doesn’t have to prove himself that way.  I feel the man had heard all the great things that Jesus has been doing in and about the area.  I feel the man was amazed and moved by these miracles and that he believed in miracles, and wished a miracle for himself too.  I think the man had thought about it many times and imagined it happening and even felt the enthusiasm of being a healed man – whole and accepted and able again to re-enter society, attending family gatherings and worship, working, enjoying the company of his friends – all those things that were common for “normal people” but not for him as an unclean person afflicted by a skin disease. 

The day came and the man sees the unbelieveable sight of Jesus coming his way… He must have been overcome and because he was so convinced that this could happen to him too – he didn’t hesitate to speak up and put forth his petition – pleading for his restored health.  The confidence of his statement proving his faith… He knew he wanted to be healed and he knew Jesus could heal him, but did Jesus want to? 

Of course Jesus did.  “I do want to.  Be clean.”  Boom!  The spoken word – just like in creation – heals the man restoring him COMPLETELY WHOLE!  Chaos turns into order.  Boom!  I think Jesus must have been pleased to come across this man of faith – despite his circumstances – who was in touch with Jesus’ nature. 

Jesus doesn’t want this to be a publicity stunt but sends the man to the priests to make an offering for his cleansing in line with Moses’ instruction, being a testimony to the priests.  How must those priests have felt when this diseased man shows up clean.  A miracle right there in front of them – no two ways about it – healed – clean – worthy of society dwelling….a restored “normal person”  Word certainly got out and even more people become enthused with the man, Jesus.  Certainly the miracles are getting their attention, but many are surely catching on to the whole of Jesus, not just the healing Jesus – the one who wants everyone to be made whole. 

Jesus stays true to form not allowing the crowds to overwhelm him and often withdrawing to his on private places of prayer to stay focused on his mission.  The man is inspirational to us in how we pray.  From this man’s example we must not only know about Jesus, but invest time wrapping our mind and our heart around the whole of Jesus.  Jesus is on our side.  He left glory to walk in our shoes and understand our human nature.  Not only does he know us as our creator, he now knows us as one who has walked in our very shoes.  He has experienced everything that we have or will experience and conquered it – staying focused and disciplined regardless of all the commotion going on around him. 

We too, can enter the very presence of God – because of what Jesus did – to help us stay on our path and listen to all the right things and blank out all the wrong things and walk triumphantly in this human experience.  God continues to go ahead of us and behind us showing us the way and illuminating our path.  PRAYER IS A GIFT!  It is that personal time with our Holy Trinity to empower us in all that we will encounter and all that we will need to do to endure, to survive, to embrace, to grow, to be whole!

If we listen to our circumstances, we will stay defeated and weak and sick and remove our self-worth til we feel useless, undeserving and doomed. The time we spend getting to know and understand Jesus and his amazing love is invaluable to our wholeness and the ability to rise above our circumstances and look for possibilities. The man knew Jesus through all that he heard, and he believed. He envisioned the opportunity to ask for healing – straightforward and earnestly. And it came, Jesus passed his way, and the man never hesitated with his request. Jesus not only granted the miracle, but set him on his next steps for full acceptance as a whole and “normal” person.

Praise be to God for all the ways he provides for our every need, even before we need it and the amazing ways He hears us and answers our prayers!  

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