October 05, 2016

If You Are Willing

I know Jesus has the power to heal all sickness and disease, and he can do so at any time. However, Jesus doesn’t always heal every infirmity so I preface my prayers with, “Lord, if it’s your will…” A man with leprosy used a different approach when he came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy” (Matt 8:2-3 NIV). My sense is there is a difference between Jesus being willing to heal vs. His will that someone be healed. The Canaanite woman with the demon possessed daughter comes to mind. It doesn’t appear it was the Lord’s will to heal the child until He saw the mother’s great faith; then He was willing to grant the mother’s request. (Matt 15:21-28).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I think it’s significant that the woman with the possessed daughter was not merely a Gentile, but she was a Canaanite. I know the hearts of the Bible’s detractors bleed for the Canaanites, “That mean-weenie, thug of a monotheistic god invoked his barbaric, horde of jews to slaughter them. How awful!” And Jesus first refusal to heal her daughter merely underscores the judgment they heap upon God. So, as long as we’re talking about wills and healing, let’s talk about Canaanites a little bit, too.
-----The Bible is not oblivious to man’s culture and history. I Samuel 24:13 quotes a proverb of the ancients, “Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness.” At Ezekiel 14:14, God mentions three names of notoriety, raising one Danel up with the likes of Noah and Job. Most translations render this name as Daniel. But that may well be in error. There is no Hebrew indicator of an “i” in this name as there is in Daniel’s name. Besides. At the time of Ezekiel’s prophesy, Daniel is merely a young man. Certainly he is gaining notoriety in Babylon, but with the likes of Noah and Job? There is now very little known about an ancient who was greatly regarded “throughout the world” in those days named Danel. And Paul quoted from the poem about the Zodiac commissioned by Ptolemy when he said, “…even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring,’” at Acts 17:28.
-----Indeed the Hebrews also had their own “classical” literature. Much of the New Testament eschatology is shaped by ideas from The Book of Enoch. And three times the Old Testament refers the reader to the Book of Jasher. That book informs us that Noah parted the land between his three sons. But Canaan settled in land given to Shem. Moreover, when I was a child I loved to stare in wonder at a picture in a history book of a plaster covered head found at Jericho. It has ever since been to me a mental picture shrouded in the mystery of what it meant. Some forty-five years later, I read in the Book of Jasher how these people would cut the head off their first-born, adult child, plaster it, and put under its tongue a gold leaflet with its name inscribed so that it could speak to them from the dead. Archeology has uncovered the foundations of Canaanite homes with jars of baby bones built into each corner. Wonderful people, no?
-----Yet the Lord was willing to extend His blessing to this “dog who licked the crumbs falling from the children’s table.” Speaking of “willing”, have you ever wondered what the world would be like if the people from Noah’s time to now got that message thing all wrapped up in The Flood? If they all worshiped God sincerely from their hearts and chose their paths carefully according to what they could know of what God wanted them to chose right on down to and including us today? Righteousness has a way of repairing and healing everything corrupted by evil that it touches. It seems we are the unwilling, because all we have to do is maintain a culture of belief and obedience for good health and prosperity to naturally pour forth from what God is.
-----But Lo, the world was far from righteous by the time Christ came. That He was willing to heal at all, that He even came at all, is a major testimony to the depths of God’s grace.

Love you all,
Steve Corey