The Leper’s Faith

Matthew 8:1-4 (KJV)
(1) When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. (2) And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (3) And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (4) And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

This passage begins with the word “when.” This means that Jesus is coming from somewhere else. It means that we need to see what happened previously. In fact, we need to look at the phrase that this word leads into. “When he was come down from the mountain…” Apparently, Jesus had been teaching somewhere else. Does scripture tell us where Jesus was before this chapter begins? Chapter 7 is the last chapter that is known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This discourse covered chapters 5-7. When we turn our attention to Matthew 5:1, we are told that when Jesus saw the multitude, He sat down on a mountain. Once He sat down, His disciples came to Him. Jesus taught them in these chapters. After completing this discourse, He left the mountain, and came down to minister to the people on a personal level.

The first person that Jesus ministers to is a leper. There were a number of afflictions that the Bible categories as leprosy. Lepers were separated from society. They lived in leper colonies. When they came in the public, they had to yell Unclean! Unclean! This would tell the people to get out their way. Leprosy was a disease that could be spread. They were grouped together with Gentiles and women. They were considered as outcasts. This was especially true in the minds of the Pharisees. Every morning many Pharisees would pray the following prayer: “I give thanks that I am a man and not a woman, a Jew and not a Gentile, a freeman and not a slave.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) New Testament, Volume 1 – Be Loyal (Matthew) – Matthew – Chapter Seven The King’s Power, p. 33]

This leper broke protocol, and ran up to Jesus. He violated the written code concerning lepers. This revealed the great faith that this man had. He believed Jesus would heal him. What I want you to pay attention to in this situation is what the leper said to Jesus. Before the leper spoke to Jesus, he bowed and worshiped Jesus. This is how we should come to Jesus with our prayers and requests. We should come worshiping. This act sets the atmosphere for a move of the Spirit.

Leprosy is symbolic illustration of sin and The instructions that were given to the priests are found in Sin is deeper than the skin. It spreads; it defiles and isolates Leviticus 13:45-46. It is fit for the fire Leviticus 13:52, 57.

Matthew 8:2 (NASB)
(2) And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

He first recognizes Jesus as Lord. Then he uses the word “if.” If it is your will, you can make me clean. He speaks in the positive. Lord, I know that you can do this for me if you will. The leper did not question Jesus’ ability to heal. He only wondered if Jesus was willing. Of course, Jesus was willing to heal! He is God our Savior. He is willing that all would be saved God does not want anyone to perish.

Check this out! When Jesus touched the leper, He contracted the leper’s defilement; but He also conveyed His health! [Ibid.] This is what Jesus did on the Cross.

Jesus then commanded the man not to tell anybody. He needed to go the priests who would declare him restored and fit for society. This is described in Leviticus 14. This is a picture of Christ’s work for sinners. The bird slain pictures the death of Christ. The bird released pictures His resurrection. Putting the bird into the jar pictures the Incarnation. Jesus took on a human body that He might die for us. The application of the blood to the ear, thumb, and toe illustrates the need for personal faith in His death. The oil on the blood reminds us of the Spirit of God, who enters the person when he trusts the Savior. {Can I get an “Amen”?]

Unfortunately, the man did not obey Christ’s words. He told everybody what Jesus had done! There are times we Jesus tells us to tell everybody, and we keep quiet. Mark 1:45 says that the healed leper’s witness forced Jesus to avoid the city. Still the crowd found Him and followed Him.



One thought on “The Leper’s Faith”

  1. I really like the content you are sharing here on your site! It seems to be very truthful and that’s most important when sharing God’s word!

    Steve Pejay


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