“When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean’” (Matthew 8:1–2).
Several more striking features marked the leper who came to Jesus. The man came expectantly but not demandingly, therefore he approached the Lord with humility. It’s clear he wanted to be healed, but he did not explicitly ask Jesus for this miraculous favor. That was almost too much for the leper to presume, hence his statement, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” What a contrast to the attitude of those in some religious circles today who boastfully claim divine healing as if God should automatically grant it.
The leprous man also came in sincere faith—one that displays the firm conviction that God is able to work on our behalf, but yet a conviction accompanied by submission to His sovereign will. He knew that although Jesus was able to instantly cure his leprosy, He was not obligated. The man’s faith was much like that of Daniel’s friends who told the king, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Dan. 3:17–18). In the same way, the leper would also accept whatever outcome Jesus provided.
“Expectantly but not demandingly.” How would this posture change the way you’re currently praying over a pressing matter—not by discounting faith and being guilty of doubt and double-mindedness, but by boldly placing yourself and others under Christ’s capable safekeeping?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008.