A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once. He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
When the leper tells Jesus, “If you wish, you can…”, we are reminded of the Gift of granting wishes that Jesus has given to all of us. Looking at Matthew 17:20, Jesus expands upon this theme, “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Believing that we have the Power to grant wishes is kind of like believing in Santa Clause – as Tom Hanks famously quoted in “The Polar Express” Christmas movie, “At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” After Jesus comes back resurrected from the dead to his Apostles, he tells St. Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) If you or someone that you love is struggling with something, it’s probably not the behavior that’s the real issue. The bigger, deeper issue most often is centered around what we truly-believe. God encourages all of us to truly believe and to ask Him for wisdom, guidance, and help through all of it; while Trusting that He will deliver on His Promise. We’ve all seen Miracles happen when someone truly Believes. A Friend once shared a story of a Preacher who posed, “What’s the downside for an atheist to Believe in God?” So, Believe.