Monday, February 27, 2017
This past week I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible stories. It is recorded in Matthew 8 of the New Testament. This is the account of a man who was plagued, both physically and emotionally, by the disease of leprosy. He was cast out and rejected by his own people for a disease that was beyond his control. This did not, however, keep the leper from coming unto Christ when He passed through that area of the city. Verse two says, “And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”. Breaking this verse down reveals some insightful doctrine. Rather than demanding to be healed, the leper said these humble words: if thou wilt. This implies that the leper, instead of thinking about only his desires, was prepared to accept the will of the Lord and be healed only if that was the plan. As Elder Bednar would say, he had the faith not to be healed. He also knew that the healing power of Christ was sufficient for him and his particular ailment; it could be used specifically for him. Verse three reads, “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed”. It did not matter how contagious or sickly or beyond hope and repair that this man was- the Redeemer took no hesitation in coming unto one who had faith to be healed and touching that person. He stooped down to the level of a man doomed to death and loneliness and gave him a second chance at life. Brothers and sisters, family and friends, I know that the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ is for everyone. It is infinite and it is individual. All that is required is faith, humility, and a willingness to change and to act. The Lord’s will is always revealed in His own time but it is never too late to come unto Christ. As the Savior says in Moroni 7:33-34, “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me… Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved”. The refining touch of the Master is available to all who believe in the words “if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”.