Blessed… Lord If You Want…

Now when Jesus had come down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. A man with a skin disease came, knelled before him, and said, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to. Become clean.” Instantly his skin disease was cleansed. Jesus said to him, “Don’t say anything to anyone. Instead, go and show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded. This will be a testimony to them” (Matthew 8:1-4, Common English Bible).

“Lord if you want…” In other translations it might say, “Lord if you want…” or “Lord, if you will…” or “Lord, if you are willing…” It seems like a strange way to begin a conversation.

Yes, it seems a bit strange. It isn’t at all the way many of us tend to ask God to do something for us. “Lord, please cure my cancer.” A different prayer might go, “Lord I really want this job, help me get it.” Can you see the difference?

In today’s reading the man with the serious (some translations leave out the word serious) skin disease, a man with leprosy, according to some translations (in the Biblical era they often didn’t know the differences in skin diseases and gave them all the name leprosy), wants Jesus to heal him. The interesting thing to me is not that he asks Jesus to heal him, it is the way he asks. “Lord if it be your will…” There is no demand here. The man knows Jesus can do whatever he wants. He knows Jesus has the power. Yet the man also knows that it is completely up to Jesus as to how the power will be used.

On a side note, we really aren’t sure how the man knows Jesus has this power, this ability. This is the first time in Matthew’s gospel that he exercises his power to heal. Perhaps there were other occasions where he used the power and Matthew, for whatever the reason chose not to record them, but the man did know.

So much of the time we forget that God sees the whole picture in ways we do not. We want things by what we see, the way we think our interests are best served and not by the way God wants. That job we want so bad, perhaps God, who knows us better than we know ourselves can see down the road further than we and knows we would be miserable in that position. Or perhaps God didn’t give us that position because there is something better coming. It might also be, that because God gives us all of us free will, the person who is making the decision on that job decided to hire his less qualified brother-in-law instead of following the will of God. We may not always know the reasons, but sometimes the answer is “no.”

Perhaps it would serve each of us well to begin our petitions to God by following the example of the man with the serious skin disease, “Lord, if it be your will…”

What are you asking God to do for you that should begin with, “Lord, if it be your will…”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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