We read here that this happened when He had come down from the
mountain, where He had just preached a sermon, the most powerful sermon ever preached
(Matt 5-7). It is also a very difficult passage, e.g. where Jesus said that if youre
married and you look at another woman with lust you have already committed adultery (Matt
5:28). He also said that if you get angry with your brother and you call him a fool or
other names, then you deserve hell, because before God youve murdered him (Matt
5:22). It would be good to read this again and again because the Lord expects us to live
accordingly. He also said that if someone forces you to walk a kilometre with him, then
walk two (Matt 5:41). If someone strikes you on the one cheek, turn the other also (Matt
5:39). Read it prayerfully and ask yourself what kind of a life you live.
When he had come down from the mountain great multitudes followed
Him. Following here means to follow Him closely in truth, in His footsteps. Do we follow
Him closely and do what He says, or are we like those that build their house on the sand
In this crowd there was one who was leprous. Leprosy was a
terrible disease and incurable in those days. Such people were excommunicated. It was also
very infectious. Other people were not allowed to have any contact with a leper. This
leper wasnt even supposed to be amongst the other people. Some commentators believe
that while Jesus was preaching he was listening from a distance, and was so moved by what
he heard that he made every effort to get to Jesus to be helped. He didnt care what
the people would say or think of him, but only knew that he had to get to Jesus to be
helped. This man was just like Zacchaeus who, though an important man, didnt care
what the crowd would think of him, but climbed in the tree to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-10).
When this leper had found Jesus he fell at His feet, worshipping
Him, not concerned about his clothing or what the other people would say. And he prayed to
Him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean". We also see that he was
seeking Gods will. He knew Jesus had the power to heal him, but he still said,
"Lord, if you are willing ...". We cannot force God. We cannot demand from God
that since He had healed many people He must heal those we pray for too. We also read in
the Bible where Jesus said a certain sickness wasnt unto death, and He magnified
Himself in that (John 11:4). But there is a time when a sickness is unto death and then we
must submit to His will.
After this lepers request, immediately the Lord Jesus
stretched out His hand and healed him. Its amazing that Jesus touched him, for he
was an untouchable. Also when Jesus touched him, He didnt get leprosy, but the leper
was healed from his leprosy.
Spiritually leprosy can be compared to sin. Jesus was amongst the
sinners. The Sadducees and Pharisees even accused Him of being amongst the sinners. But He
never became leprous spiritually because of mingling with the sinners. As Jesus came to
this earth He came to us sinners, but even though He came into contact with us, sin
didnt enter Him. Its different with us, when we are with different types of
people, we are influenced by them and their spirit. So this man was unclean but Jesus
cleansed him, as He does even today that when we come to Him with our sin He cleanses us
with His precious Blood.
Perhaps youre also amongst people who arent on the
right track and what they say and do influences you and stick to you like a disease. But
Jesus cleanses us. Thats what He came for, to cleanse us from our sin and heal our
diseases. He came to save sinners. Even though He was amongst them, ate with them and
mingled with them, He was never influenced by their sin.
Jesus said to this man cleansed of his leprosy, "see that you
tell no one. Go your way, show yourself to the priest and offer the offer Moses
commanded". Why did Jesus tell him not to tell anyone? One would think that he must
announce it to everyone that Jesus had healed him from this terrible disease. There could
be different reasons. It may be that someone can go out and testify to everyone but then
backslide and bring reproach on Gods Name. But Jesus did say that the one that is
ashamed of Me, I will be ashamed of him (Luke 9:26). But Mark gives us the answer in Mark
1:45, "however he went out and began to proclaim it freely, giving an account of it
everywhere, so that Jesus was no longer able to go openly into a town, but was outside in
the waste land; and they came to Him from every part". What this man did was wrong,
because Jesus had told him specifically not to do it. Dont forget what Jesus had
said to you, even if it is long ago. Its sad when we who are Christians, who have
been helped by the Lord, become a problem to Him. Jesus wanted to work, but He was
hindered and obstructed by what this man, whom He had helped, did. We must always
carefully listen to what Jesus tells us.
Jesus told this man to go to the priest and show him that he was
cleansed and offer what Moses had prescribed. Some people question confession of sin and
even say that its wrong or not necessary. But the Bible is full of the necessity of
confession of sin. There are people, though they read the Bible, dont see or
understand. Some people say that since the Bible says that you must confess your sin one
to another, you can just go to anybody. How can just anyone help you? It will be in the
end the blind leading the blind and both will fall into the ditch (Luke 6:39). Elijah
prayed and for three and a half years it didnt rain and he prayed again and it
rained. The prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16-18). If you go to someone
and you confess that you have evil thoughts, and that person tells you that he has the
same problem; how can he then help you?
2Chr 16:12 Here king Asa became very sick in his feet but he did
not seek the face of the Lord but the physicians, and he died.
Its not wrong to go to a doctor, but when youre sick,
first go to the Lord and let Him guide you when going to the doctor.
Remember the story of Shadrach, Meschac and Abednego. When they
stood before Nebuchadnezzar, because they wouldnt bow to his image, and he asked
them why they didnt bow down to his image, and threatened them with the fiery
furnace. They replied that they could not bow to the image he had made, and that their God
is able to deliver them from the burning fiery furnace, but even if He would not, that
they would still not bow down or serve his gods (Dan 3:16-18). Nebuchadnezzar became
furious, and the expression on his face changed, and he commanded the furnace be heated
seven times. They didnt proclaim in arrogance that they wont be burned by the
fire. They knew God could deliver them, but that it was still His prerogative. For them
Gods will was supreme and they only bowed to that. Nebuchadnezzar commanded that his
strongest men bind them and throw them into the furnace, and when those men threw them in,
they themselves were burned by the heat and died. But Gods three servants landed
bound in the midst of the furnace, and when the king looked he saw that there were four
people walking loose in the midst of the furnace, God Himself joining Himself to them and
protecting them in the fire (Dan 3:23-25).
Coming back to the leper, although he went to the priest as Jesus
told him to, he also spread the matter much abroad, contrary to what Jesus told him, not
to do it. When God has helped you and saved you, never forget to bring that offering of
thanks to Him. If you do not thank God, He will hand you over to sin. In Rom 1 it speaks
of homosexual and lesbian relationships. And it says there that God gave them over to that
because they did not give thanks to God (Rom 1:21-27). The intellectuals says that a
person is born that way. But that is utter nonsense. God made us male and female, a man to
marry a woman like Adam married Eve. Never forget to thank God for what He has done for
you that you are not given over to such a terrible state.
When Jesus has helped you, never forget to say thank you. And
dont just say and do what you think is to thank Him, but it must be in obedience to
God, by His guidance. If the Lord Jesus has helped you, your reaction should be,
"Lord what would you have me to do" (Acts 9:6), and then to listen and do
accordingly. Jesus also told this man to do it according to Moses instruction. There
is a certain way to do a right thing. Dont just do it your own way.