Jesus heals a man with leprosy

The Miracles of Jesus

 February 25, 2021

Jesus heals a man with leprosy

Luke 5:12-16

Our country and the world are overrun by a very infectious and deadly disease, Covid 19. If we test positive for the virus, we are asked to stay in isolation for at least two weeks, even if we are not symptomatic. We’re asked to wear masks when we are out in public, and not with our immediate household, and to stay socially distant from others. Difficult times when we as humans crave the touch of others.

In Jesus’ time, one of many infectious diseases was leprosy. The word leprosy covered many different skin diseases, such as psoriasis, lupus, and ringworm. Today leprosy is considered a specific bacterial infection, Hansen’s disease. While antibiotics can cure the disease, they can’t reverse the damage already done by leprosy.

2000 years ago, Levitical law required lepers to let people know that they were sick by calling out to them, “unclean, unclean.” This way, people learned to stay away from the leper.

In the story of Jesus healing the leper, this man did not follow that Levitical law:

“In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly, the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”

You’ll notice in the passage above that the man with leprosy did not yell out, “unclean, unclean.” Do you know why?

Because he was afraid that if he did, he would be stopped from approaching Jesus. The man believed in Christ’s healing powers and wasn’t about to let anyone stand in his way, even if it meant breaking the law. (If we’re honest with ourselves, if we were in the same condition, we’d probably do the same thing.)

In fact, Jesus, too, broke a Levitical law just by touching the man. He would have been considered unclean also. But instead of Jesus catching the disease because He touched the man, His mere touch healed him.

Jesus knew the power He was endowed with. And once again, He was willing to heal anyone who came to Him and asked.

Unfortunately, the cleansed man did not follow all of Jesus’ instructions. He went out and started telling everyone what Jesus had done (Mark 1:45). This caused even more people to want to come to Jesus to be healed. Because of this, Jesus had to slip away to remote places to get away from the crowds and pray.

This story has a couple of points. First, Jesus continues to heal anyone He comes upon. Second, we need to follow Christ’s instructions to the letter. If Jesus tells us to do help and give to others in secret, that’s what we should do. When Jesus instructs us to pray a certain way, that’s how we should pray. Not explicitly following His instructions can cause problems for ourselves and others.

Take some time today to ask for your needs in prayer. Lift them up to the heavens. And, when He responds, follow His instruction to the letter.

Yes, Jesus is a healer. But His and our number one purpose is to share the Gospel message with the world.

Dear Jesus. You know of all the suffering, death, and heartbreak that exists in our world. Please send your healing powers to us. And help us to follow you through your word and examples. Amen

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