I am writing a “different” kind of post. No, I am not writing about any shabby antiques or The Depot. It may be a slightly long post. But I'm asking you to bear with me....and I hope this ministers to your heart and gives you a new perspective of this man Jesus.
Tonight I am snuggled in a recliner, watching a dvd called “In the Footsteps of Jesus”. It is amazing what movies and songs can do to our hearts. It can stir up things in us, for the good or bad. This one thing has been going over and over in my mind...and it is changing my heart.
Picture this: Jesus is walking on a hot day down a dusty road in Jerusalem. Here comes a leper – a leper, guys. A man who is shunned from the public, deemed filthy to everyone around him, cursed by man. In his desperation,....he cries out to Jesus. Yes, he knew he could be turned away and feel the bitter rejection he has felt all of his life once again....but, what did he have to loose?!
Let me say this – I think we take this story too lightly. This man was a leper. I looked up leprosy in the dictionary, trying to understand the full meaning of it. This is a disease of the skin and the nerves...causing the skin to literally rot and the nerves to be shot with pain. Back then lepers could not be in public because the disease was so deadly and disgusting. When people spotted a leper, the covered their mouths and ran far away.
Back to the story. So here is this leper, screaming “Lord, if You are willing to help a man like me, please help me!! I know You can make me clean! Are You willing?” he cries. Jesus stops dead in His tracks......His heart oozing with compassion for this poor, pitiful man. He begins to walk toward him. The people with Jesus are terrified, but watch intently to see what in the world Jesus was doing moving toward him. Jesus gets down on His knees on the dusty ground, getting face to face with this filthy man whose skin smells rancid. He loving touches the man, looks deep into his eyes and says “I am willing! Be clean!” Just like that.....the man is healed. He came to Jesus, exposed, vulnerable, desperate, without reservation. He came ---- shame and despair, humiliation and scorn and was in return granted full healing and love forevermore!. He came to Jesus, God in human form, and fell before Him, pleading for His help. And his hearts desire was granted to him--- just like that!
This is the reality that is burning on my heart tonight: Jesus is the same today as He was way back then. He held this man in his filth and cleansed it all away......all the pain – gone.....all the hopelessness – no more....all the rejection – vanished......all the ugliness – now made beautiful. Just like that. Why?! Because the man came to Jesus just as he was. He didn't “clean up” first. He couldn't!
That is how He is with you. He doesn't want you to get yourself together and then come to Him. NO! He wants you to RUN TO HIM with tears running down your face, covered in dirt and say “God, I need YOU!”
This man Jesus is not a man Who was here years and years ago and now just sits up in heaven. He is real and tangible to anyone who will reach out and grab the hem of His rob. He is staring at you, longing for your eyes to lock with His. I'm telling you, once you look into those eyes of love, you will never be the same! His eyes look though all the hurt all the anger all the rejection all the disappointments. He can see through your mask. Dirt and grime.....He thinks you are perfect. In one second everything will change. That is how Jesus is. I pray that you will come to know the real Him today. I want to know His heart fully. I want to see the different sides of His face. I want you to, as well. I am praying that the reality of Who He is for YOU TODAY will penetrate every fiber
of your being today, whoever you are, wherever you are.
I'm sorry if I've rattled on too much! I hope this wasn't too scattered. I pray it causes you to see that you are loved and wanted by Jesus.......God Almighty. He wants you. He loves you.....just the way you are, right now.....mess and all :) Now that's something to smile about!