I am just a girl who loves Jesus Christ more than I could ever express in words. I am the wife to my husband of twenty-one years and a mommy to six precious children. This blog reveals the presence of God in the midst of my life story.
8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
"When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him." (Matthew 8:1) Jesus has spoken, all of chapters five, six and seven, on the mountain- known as the 'Sermon on the Mount.' (If you look at these chapters you will see that all the words are in red, signifying these are Jesus' words). Anytime I see red lettering in the Bible I read it over and over again. THEY are JESUS' words! How awesome is that! We hear His heart. And just as a side note-"large crowds followed him" YES! Of course! and I would have been one in that large crowd =)
2 "A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2) How desperate this man must have been. Lepers were kept away from the town- this guy was in town, or at least near people, near a moutain. Lepers were kept away from other people- this guy went straight up to Jesus and knelt down before Him. In all my years in the church, Catholic and Born-Again Non-Denominational, I have never knelt before the priest or pastor. I have never knelt before a Bible teacher. This Leper knew Jesus was more than a preacher, more than a teacher, more than a prophet. I believe in his heart he hoped he was kneeling before the Messiah. And He was right! I say he hoped he got it right because he then says, "IF you are willing..." This leper wasn't too sure what Jesus would say. He wasn't sure that Jesus wanted the best for him. But if you know God, if you know Jesus, you know He does want the best for us, the very best.
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy." I love when I read about anyone in the Bible that Jesus touched. One of my love languages is touch and for me touch is very important. I'm thinking, to the leper touch was important too. Having the disease leprosy and with how contagious it was, no one had touched this guy in a really long time. Why am I talking about touch? Well, Jesus is God. He SPOKE creation. He certainly could have SAID, "You are healed" and the leper would have been healed. But Jesus, "...reached out his hand and touched the man." That touch meant more to that leper than we can imagine. Jesus is not only touching this leper's disease, but touching his heart. Touch is, for me, a sign of acceptance. A sign of love. A sign that you know me. When I walk in the door of a friend's house or even church, I hug everyone I know and love, but those I haven't met yet, they get a "hello." A hug, a touch, carries a meaning. Jesus touched the man. I think anyone watching must have thought, "Wow, it must be safe to touch him now!" Others may have hugged him and received him back into the community. Jesus wasn't afraid to touch the man, even though everyone else was. Jesus isn't afraid or overwhelmed by our sin. Jesus knows our struggles and will heal us with a Word or a Touch.
"I am willing." I can not imagine a time where Jesus wouldn't be willing to heal us. Willing means to be "inclined or favorably disposed in mind," according to Merriam-Webster. I think that sums up Jesus- he is inclined or favorably disposed in mind to heal any one of us. So, why aren't we all healed? That's the question of the ages! I believe after reading chapters five, six and seven of Matthew, I found that Jesus is more concerned about our heart than anything else on this earth. If healing us physically will heal our hearts, than I believe there is healing, but if our hearts our at peace with Jesus, I believe He takes us home. And so, we see an immediate healing of leprosy!
4 "Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Now this part of the story I cannot visualize. I can usually close my eyes and picture the stories I read, but this one has got me stumped. Here in verse one we read, 'large crowds followed Him," but in verse four we read, "See that you don't tell anyone." Didn't this happen in front of the large crowd? If, they were walking side by side and Jesus nonchalantly touched and healed him that would be different, but the leper knelt in front of Jesus. Jesus had to stop walking. People noticed, right? Maybe what Jesus was saying was, "Don't go down into the town yelling, "I'M HEALED!!! LOOK AT ME!! I'M HEALED!" Maybe Jesus wanted him to go quietly into town, see the priests, and go home. I believe Jesus didn't want His presence in a town to only be about healings. He wanted to reach the people's hearts with the Good News of Salvation first. Pray with me: Jesus, I love you with all my heart! Thank you for teaching us so much in Matthew chapters five, six, and seven. Thank you for wanting my heart, wanting a relationship with me. Thank you for touching the leper and healing him. Thank you for not being afraid of my 'leprosy'- my sin. Thank you that you can heal my heart and wounds with one word or touch. Jesus, I know you are willing, heal me. In Jesus' name. Amen.