A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. —Matthew 8:2-3
All of us can tell whether another person is going to accept us. We can almost feel it. You must have some inkling if you came to see me whether or not I would listen, whether I would care. What I wish is that I could radiate the love of Jesus, that you would feel that I want to be like Him.
The leper knew that if he went to Jesus he would be accepted.
Some people teach that a precondition to becoming a Christian is that you have to do this or that, and only then will Jesus accept you. What we see here is that Jesus accepted the leper just as he was, and lo and behold, the leper believed Jesus could heal him, and Jesus did. Jesus is still the same today. He accepts you as you are.
In fact, we are told in John 8:3-11 that Pharisees, who were a self-righteous, legalistic group of people, brought a woman caught in adultery and said to Jesus, “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” Jesus bent down and started to write in the ground with His finger. Then He said to these people, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Hearing that, they all left. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
The woman said, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus declared, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
What did He do? He accepted her. That is His way. Jesus displays such tenderness. I could give one example after another to assure you that whatever may be in your past, whatever it is that you’ve done, this Jesus will accept you.
Excerpted from All’s Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).