Behold: The Goodness of Jesus
Behold: The Goodness of Jesus
By: Amy Bond
“And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him.” Luke 5:13
Have you ever experienced something so good you were overwhelmed by it? This is how I feel about German Chocolate ice cream. Okay, maybe that is a little superficial, but I do get excited about a good scoop of ice cream. What about the birth of a child or a favorable diagnosis? Maybe it was winning a competition or a promotion. Whatever that incredible experience was for you, did you tell others about that goodness, giving every detail with enthusiasm?
In Luke, Chapter 5, verses 12-26, the two men healed by Jesus had something to celebrate. Both were afflicted with significant ailments and were completely healed. It was much deeper than just physical healing; it was spiritual healing. Through these two accounts, Jesus reveals His goodness in three ways which remain true today.
- Jesus is willing.
- Jesus is personal.
- Jesus saves.
Jesus is willing
Jesus is willing to give of His goodness. In verses 12-13, Jesus not only declares His willingness to heal the man, but He truly heals him. The claim was not empty. Jesus had the power to restore the man, and He did. Afterward, He sent him to the priest to take part in the necessary sacrifices that he could not satisfy while afflicted with leprosy.
Jesus’ willingness also reveals that His goodness is for everyone (Romans 3:22). We, just like the man with leprosy, need healing – we are all spiritually sick (Romans 3:23). Jesus reveals His compassion towards our sinful state and gives assurance of His authority over it.
He proclaims no one has gone too far or is too lost to experience the willing forgiveness and eternal restoration that Jesus offers (1 John 2:1-2). When we question whether we are too far gone in our sin, Jesus looks upon us with compassion, providing renewal through repentance and salvation. The goodness of Jesus is His willingness and ability to restore what is broken.
Jesus is personal
Jesus is personal with His presence and knows the thoughts and hearts of the people in the passage. This remains true for us today. We cannot hide any thought, emotion, deed, or desire from Him. That is how intimate our Savior is; He understands our nature and current state. Yet, as believers, we have the assurance and the promise of God’s mercy and grace even in our weakest moments (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Jesus Christ is our shepherd, and as His sheep, we are fully dependent on Him. Even knowing the deep crevices of our hearts, He remains with us as a promise that one day all believers will be brought back home to forever live in peace. (Matthew 28:20, Revelation 21:1-7). The goodness of Jesus is a personal relationship.
In verses 23-24, Jesus asks a question, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’” They did not know then that Jesus saved both men physically and spiritually. God desires to dwell with His people, and there must be permanent reconciliation to allow us, His beloved children, to be in His presence for all eternity. Even on our best day, our efforts to “be good” do not compare to the greatness of Jesus Christ. If there is anything good in this world, Jesus is better. His sacrifice poured out at the cross covers our multitude of sins forever (John 3:16; 14:6, Ephesians 1:7-10). The goodness of Jesus saves.
I confess. I have difficulty comprehending the fullness of Jesus Christ - why was He willing to be the perfect sacrifice for someone like me and my sins? The thought is overwhelming, and it would take all of eternity to offer enough praiseworthy gratitude for the extent of His goodness. Then there are moments when His goodness seems to be surrounded by the most profound darkness leaving me unable to see through the heaviness. I am tempted to believe that Jesus is hidden. Yet the truth for believers is even in our most profound suffering, the Savior remains with us.
The goodness of Jesus should compel a response from us. Whether we find ourselves in the valley or on the mountain top, we should enthusiastically tell others of His goodness to us. We live in a world desperate to know Jesus Christ, to possess a hope and joy that satisfies. May we be like the crowd in verse 26, when “amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
Believers, be encouraged to proclaim to others the goodness of Jesus and what God is doing in your life. Though it may be challenging to confess as we battle guilt, anxiety, or shame through sanctification, take courage because our weaknesses diminish in the light of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Believers and unbelievers alike need to hear and see that our God not only provides good things, but He is goodness itself (James 1:17, Psalm 18:30; 107:1, Deuteronomy 32:4).
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6