This morning, I’m hovering over two back-to-back healings recorded by Matthew. Stories of faith. One of which causes even Jesus to be impressed. But while Jesus may take note of those who express faith, I’m in wonder this morning of the One who responds to faith. And that, by His will and His word.
And behold, a leper came to [Jesus] and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out His hand and touched Him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. . . . When He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, appealing to Him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And He said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
(Matthew 8:2-3, 5-8 ESV)
If You will . . . only say the word. If You purpose, You have the power. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.
While Jesus marvels at the faith of the centurion (8:10), I’m in wonder this morning of the One the centurion had faith in. The One who wills and speaks His will into being. The God who conceives of things and things are created. The God who designs and declares that design a reality. The God who determines to shower grace because He wants to and thus, we’re swimming in an ocean of grace because we get to.
In awe this morning at the connect between His will and His word.
We only come to God in prayer because we believe His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We only cling to the promises of God because we believe in the power of God to deliver on those promises.
For sure, without faith it’s impossible to please God, but the dynamic isn’t about how great our faith is. The dynamic is more tied to the reality that God exists and rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). A mustard see of faith can move a mountain (Mt. 17:20) only if Jesus wills to move a mountain and only because Jesus, with but the sound of His voice, is a mountain mover.
Lord, if You will . . . And if not, nevertheless not my will but Thine be done.
But if You will . . . only say the word. For You are the Word. The Word who was with God, the Word who was God. The Word who from the beginning made all things, and without You nothing was made that has been made. The Word in whom is life (Jn. 1:1-4). So, if You say, “Uncleanness be gone!”, it will be gone. If You tell the paralytic He can walk again, he will walk. What You will to be whole will be made whole. For You are Creator and re-Creator.
“Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” (Matthew 8:13 ESV)
According to His will. Actuated by His Word.
Only by His grace. Always for His glory.