When He (Jesus) came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him. And behold, a leper came to Him 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. Matthew 8:1-3
It was good number of years ago that a 1 a.m. phone call was made to the bedroom of Dr. Leo Winters.
The respected Chicago surgeon was quickly awake. "A young boy has been severely hurt in an accident" was what the voice on the other end of the line said. A few questions convinced the doctor his sleep for the night was at an end. His skilled hands might be able to save the boy. Dr. Winters got out of bed, quickly dressed, and was soon plotting his route to the hospital.
Time was short, so he decided to risk taking a shortcut, a shortcut which had him driving through one of the meaner areas of town. He almost made it too. But, at a red light, his door was jerked open by a man wearing a gray hat and a worn flannel shirt.
"Give me your car!" the man demanded, dragging Winters from his seat. Winters tried to explain.
Winters's words of warning were drowned out by the roar of the car's engine speeding down the street.
Looking for a phone, the doctor wandered for close to an hour. Another hour passed by before a taxi arrived and delivered him to the hospital. At the nurse's station the doctor was told the boy had died 30 minutes earlier. Indeed, the lad's own father had arrived, only a short time before his son's death.
The nurse suggested the good doctor might want to see the father. She added, "He's awfully confused. He doesn't understand why you didn't come earlier."
The doctor went down the hall to make the visit no doctor ever wants to make.
Entering the dimly lit chapel, the physician went to the only person there, a dejected, weeping man. The doctor went to the man who was still dressed in the same gray hat and old flannel shirt he had worn when he had pulled the life-saving doctor from his car.
Too many people do that to Jesus.
Confronted by difficult times and tragic situations, they try to take matters into their own hands. In doing so, they push Jesus to the side. I can't think of a bigger mistake. In Jesus, we have been given the only Person who cares enough about us and has the credentials to do something about our difficulties.
Rather than trying to take command of our lives, we would do better to kneel in front of the Savior, and like the leper, make the humble request: "Lord, if You want, You can help me." Then, if the Holy Spirit has given us faith, we can wait to hear the Savior, say, "Most certainly, I am willing to help you."
Indeed. To help us, to save us is why Jesus came into this world. His every act, thought and word were an expression of His love and desire to complete His mission, which would rescue us. Indeed, so strong was Jesus' commitment to save us from sin, death and the devil, the Savior allowed His enemies to nail Him to the cross. There, on Calvary's cruel gibbet, the Son of God disposed of our sins and -- three days later -- conquered death.
By faith we should know the Redeemer, who has taken care of our big problems, will do the same with our small ones.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for having had mercy on me. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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