Mark 1: 40-45

The leper came to Jesus and asked for healing and he believed that Jesus could heal him.

The faith of the leper and the compassion of Jesus allowed Gods healing love to work the miracle.

And have you noticed that pretty much every healing through Jesus involved this same combination of compassion and faith? Sometimes the faith was small and frightened, and sometimes it was simply the faith of someone close to the sick person.

Think of the lady who crept up behind Jesus and just touched his cloak. Think of Zacheus who climbed a tree in order that he might just see Jesus. Think of the men who broke through the roof of a house in order to let their paralysed friend down into the presence of the Lord. And think of the Syro-Phoenecian lady who approached Jesus on behalf of her troubled daughter.

It seems that where faith was lacking Jesus was unable to bring the healing love of God to bear. His own people at Nazareth just couldn’t accept him and we’re told that he could do very little there.

Today, healing in response to faithful prayer is more common than we might think. And yet you will know from your own experience that you will have prayed for someone with as much faith as you can muster and healing hasn’t taken place. But all faithful prayer is answered. Jesus prayed in Gethsemane that he might avoid the suffering which was to follow his betrayal “Father”, he said, “Take this cup from me.”

But he also prayed that God’s will, not his, might be done. The cup wasn’t taken away, and Jesus endured not only the suffering, but also the terrible sense of God forsakenness which was a part of it. His prayer in Gethsemane asked that his will be subjected to God’s will and this was the answer.

God’s Will was that Jesus should suffer and die and we know the reason why. The prayer of Jesus was answered and he passed through death into a glorious life which his death made available to us all.

Sometimes our prayers are answered in ways which we think might be best, but sometimes God answers them in different ways which often puzzle and confuse us.

We see such a small part of the overall scenes of our lives, but at all times we need to remember that “All things work together for the good of those who love God” and that in the end “All things, all manner of things, will indeed be well”.

Even when it seems to us that perhaps God just doesn’t understand. May God bless us all to a deeper acceptance of this.