A palm-wine tapper was witnessed to by a local pastor for years to no avail. He would not receive the gospel nor come to church. No, not even on the Lord’s Day.
He esteemed the gain from his infamous trade more highly than the souls of many promising young men now turned drunkards in the small village; no thanks to the cheap liquor that was his stock-in-trade. He fell off a tall palm-tree as he went up to collect the product one Sunday morning and came down with injury to his spine.
Doctors pronounced his case to be hopeless. In hospital, he sent for the village pastor whose preaching he had spurned these many years.
The pastor arrived immediately, prayed for him and rallied church members round him in an intense prayer meeting for his recovery.
Three days later, doctors said he got better. About six weeks later, he was ready to go home. Christ had touched his soul and healed his pain not minding his shameful past.
“And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean.” (Luke 5:12,13a).
The leper in our text above must have heard of the ministry of Jesus for he knew He had power to heal him. However, he was not sure Jesus would be willing to touch him, probably because of his putrefying sores.
He was ignorant of the intense love, mercy and compassion of Jesus. Being humbled by his hopeless situation, he pleaded and cried out to Jesus for help: “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
The response from Jesus is ever so reassuring – “I will”.
That is Christ’s same answer to us whenever we turn to Him for help in our distressed, helpless state. He will never turn away those who penitently come to Him though they be untouchable sinners or diseased fellows.
Jesus is a compassionate and loving God. When you are suffering, remember that He feels your pain with you.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The Lord’s love and compassion are without parallel.