40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed
43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,
44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.
See also Matthew 8:2-4 and Luke 5:12-15
The leper came in faith the Jesus could heal him, but he did not seem to be in faith that Jesus would heal him.
This reminds me of many prayers I have prayed before (and I am sure that I am not alone in this). I believed that God could heal people, but I didn’t want to presume that He wanted to.
The prayer would go something like this: “Please heal John Doe, if it is your will. Amen.”
That is the way that this leper came to Jesus. He said “if you are willing, You can make me clean.” He believed in the ability of Jesus to heal, but he questioned His willingness to use it.
Jesus wasn’t mad about this. Instead, look at the simple reply. Jesus said “I am willing.”
The Greek word that is translated “willing” gives some additional light to this:
Greek = thelo = Strong’s 2309
1) to will, have in mind, intend
1a) to be resolved or determined, to purpose
1b) to desire, to wish
1c) to love
1c1) to like to do a thing, be fond of doing
1d) to take delight in, have pleasure
Jesus made it clear that healing this man is something he would very much like to do. It’s not like Jesus said “well…ok, but just this once.” It was more like “I would love to!” This attitude toward healing that Jesus displays here is consistent in all other examples we have listed in the four gospels. He is willing to minister healing. That is something to keep in mind when you have the opportunity to minister healing to others.
Let your faith toward Jesus and your opinion of His nature be in harmony with what the bible says about Him. You are not being presumptuous if you believe God wants to heal. Read about Jesus in the four Gospels to see if God wants to heal. Jesus always healed the people that came to Him, and He was always doing the will of the Father (John 5:19).
Jesus was willing to heal, and he still is.
PS. Jesus “strictly warned” this man not to tell anyone what happened, but to go do what the Law required. If we assume that Jesus meant what He said, then we cannot say that the primary purpose of healing this man was to spread the gospel. God can heal you just because He is compassionate. God is good :)