The scripture for today is Matthew 8:1-13, NRSV.
“When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2 and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3 He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8 The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.”
Jesus had just preached his Sermon on the Mount … probably the most famous sermon of all time! He was doing the work of the kingdom of God and people wanted to follow him. Large crowds would gather to hear what he had to say. His teachings were revolutionary. He was shaking things up. People must have been thinking “what is he going to say next?” They found he was not only a good teacher … he was also a miraculous healer. He touched and healed the untouchable … the leper … cast out from society. Then he healed the centurion’s servant … without even touching the servant. It didn’t matter to him that the centurion was an officer in the Roman army, oppressing the Jewish people at that time. The centurion had great faith.
Have you been changed by the touch of Jesus? He touches us in so many ways. He speaks to us … though sometimes we don’t hear him. When was the last time you really listened … really listened for his voice and the power of his message for you? It’s so very hard to do. Last week I was standing in my kitchen. My mind was racing about so many things. I stopped what I was doing and went deep into prayer … just standing there in my kitchen of all places. I stopped and asked him to help me hear his voice. Then I waited and just listened. I could feel a quiet settle in. I could feel the weight of my worry. Then, in an instant (or so it seemed) I felt at peace. I felt as light as a feather. I could actually feel a smile come across my face. That was it! He had spoken to me. The worry was gone. He had taken it from me.
Have you gone to Jesus for healing? The leper didn’t really ask for healing, did he? He said: “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He acknowledged the power and made the request very simple. What are you expecting when you go to Jesus for healing? Can you simply surrender to his power and his love … and trust that he will carry the pain for you?
Dear Lord, Thank you for your unconditional love and grace. I know you all powerful. And I know you are always listening to me. Help me to listen to you. Guide me in doing your will … today and always. Amen
Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern – That I ask for Your wisdom and that I slow down enough to hear You.