A leper finds healing: Jesus returning to a town after a teaching moment with His Disciples, up on a mountainside, is met by a man who is covered with leprosy. When the leper saw Jesus he immediately fell to his knees before Jesus. With his face to the ground, in a somewhat pleading or begging tone, the leper says, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus, filled with compassion, reaches out his hand and touching the man he replies, “I am willing. Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left the man.
As we read the Scriptures recounting the story of the leprous man (found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke), we discover the stories vary slightly. Why? Does this mean we cannot trust what we’re reading is truth? Of course not. Like any eyewitness testimony, slight variations in details will occur depending on where one is standing at the time of the incident. Different viewpoints will offer different details of the same incident. It’s the core of the story which should never change. Here we see the core intact. When you combine all the details as recorded by each person you have a complete picture (Similar to what I did in the Scripture passage above).
Let’s look at details which deserve notice from this story.
1. The leper approaches Jesus in complete humility and reverence.
2. The leper recognizes the authority of Jesus and his ability to heal.
3. Jesus heals the man through touch and His spoken word.
4. Once the leper is healed, Jesus sends the man away immediately with a strong warning, “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift (sacrifices). Moses commanded, for your cleansing, as a testimony to them” (See Leviticus chapter 13). However, the leper, now healed, begins to spread the news freely. The more the news spreads, the more the crowds of people came to hear Jesus and be healed. As a result, Jesus must withdraw to lonely places to pray.
Personally, I understand the leper’s enthusiasm of wanting to share the good news of healing; if Jesus would choose to heal me, in a miraculous way, I would want to shout it from the rooftops. While He has not chosen to heal me, miraculous fashion, I’m a “walking” testimony to His work in my life. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
One final thing… no matter how much we would like to sugarcoat the leper’s response, he chose disobedience over obedience. The ending result made life more challenging for Jesus. I was struck deeply by the word, lonely in the passage. Notice the passages does not say, “Withdrew to be alone”… but,”withdrew to lonely places”. One gets a deep sense this was not Jesus first choice; but as a result of someone else’s choices it now became necessary. I cannot help but wonder, how many times my disobedience may have caused a challenge for my Lord and Savior. Humbling thought for sure.
Please note: I will be moving this series over to my other blog, http://throughthebibletogether.wordpress.com/ beginning January 20th. If you are enjoying this series on Biblical Healing and are not yet a subscriber of the Through the Bible blog, I hope you will continue to follow this series by becoming a subscriber.
More to come.
Scripture references: Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-15.
This series is continued at http://throughthebibletogether.wordpress.com