12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
As we get closer to November 7th, I see more and more commercials advocating various political candidates and issues. I also hear more and more of my fellow citizens voice anxious concerns about our country, various political leaders, and the direction in which they are leading our country. I hear more co-workers and friends express increasing concern about their retirement savings, healthcare coverage, home financing, and children’s education.
Unfortunately, despite having most of the world’s wealth, technology, medicines, and food, many Americans probably feel just like the leper in Luke chapter 5. They feel that somehow and for some reason beyond their control, they are not allowed to share in the full bounty and blessings of American society. Regardless of race, color, religion, creed, or gender more Americans feel like outsiders than insiders. Indeed, it is hard to be optimistic, patient, or hopeful when life makes you feel like you can’t participate. Nonetheless, may the response of Jesus to this leper give us some encouragement for these confusing days. Jesus is not only powerful and loving, but Jesus is also willing. Jesus broke every rule of ancient society by stopping, listening, and touching that outcast leper. Therefore, let us all keep seeking, peace, unity, and self restoration. Why? Because Jesus is willing. Let us keep striving to be kind to strangers, protective of the weak, and patient with the dysfunctional. Why? Because Jesus is willing. Donald Trump may not be willing. Nancy Pelosi may not be willing. Our boss may not be willing. Our pastor may not be willing. Even our own families may not be willing to see us, talk with us, and touch our needs. Yet, we all have a savior whose name is Jesus. Jesus is willing-praise God!