And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
You can say a lot about somebody from what they desire. Our desires reveal the people we are, and often reflect what is most important to us – they reveal our character.
Notice how the leper frames his request to Jesus. He clearly understands that Jesus has the power to heal, and he therefore recognises that it is a matter of what Jesus wants to do. You can almost hear the desperation in his voice – ‘Jesus, if you desire it, you could heal me’. Jesus’ answer and desire reveals so much about himself, and over the next few days we will explore these things together.
Firstly, notice that Jesus wishes the man to be clean. This shows us that Jesus is good.
Life can be black and white to the young child with people and situations often falling into the good or bad. However, as we grow, we learn that there are degrees of ‘goodness’ in our world, with some people better behaved and morally more correct than others. We are all a mixture of the good and the bad, and this can colour the way we understand and interact with people. We know that we cannot fully trust even the best people as we have been let down so often and know the complexity and depths of a human heart.
But Jesus’ goodness is pure, perfect, and holy. His heart is 100% good that has no trace of badness or selfishness and is completely focused on what is correct and true. Jesus can be fully trusted.
Let that sink in.
A man could trust Jesus with his wife knowing that Jesus would never have any impure thoughts or impulses towards her. A millionaire could trust Jesus with all his money, knowing that he would never steal, borrow, or use a penny incorrectly. A person could trust Jesus with all the political power in the world, knowing that Jesus would never seek his own well-being above anybody else. He is good and can be trusted fully.
Let us turn for a moment from the desire of Jesus in these verses to our own thoughts for the day ahead. It is so easy for us to agree theologically with the goodness of Jesus, but approach the day with uncertainty, trepidation and even fear as we practically doubt his goodness. We can agree that he is good in our heads but disagree with our hearts as we fail to bring all things to him in prayer and refuse to submit to his will.
We need to be constantly reminded that Jesus is good, and that we know that for those who love God all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
Jesus is beautiful in his goodness.