The healing of the leper is a story that has reached new heights for me recently. Recently having lived through temporary paralysis in my right leg, being in a wheel chair, it still has a possibility of coming back, all of these thoughts, doubts, and emotions I wonder that not only we have as people, but I am sure the leper had, I have.
You see, I think we have much to learn from the leper. From the way he handled himself towards the Lord to the way he believed that God could and would heal him even if he had some doubt. I see so much of all believers in the leper and I think that is what God wants us to see. We all have a little leper in us, it’s our faith in us that completes us.
So let’s walk through how the leper approaches Jesus. I think in the way he approaches Jesus there is much to be learned. Let’s break down the verse, for a little context we are starting with “A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus begging to be healed. ‘If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,’ he said.” The very first thing this man did is kneel before God.
Please understand, this man was not educated, he had only heard about Jesus in passing most likely. Yet he had such reverence and awe for Jesus immediately that he knelt recognizing that he was the son of God himself. We then see the way he talks to Jesus.
He doesn’t say, “Jesus you must heal me!”
He says, “If you are willing.”
He does not insist God heal him but rather ask that if it’s in Gods will that he would please heal him. It’s gentle and respectful, like a father to a son.
We then move onto the second verse 1:42“Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him, ‘I am willing’, he said. ‘Be healed!’’
This is more significant than we think because in those days it was uncustomary for someone of Jesus’ credibility to be touching someone as ceremonially unclean as the leper. This was in a way proof of the new order of the kingdom of God that Jesus was setting in place. This also fallows with our father to son comparison because Jesus sees his sons pleas and heals him out of fatherly compassion.
Verses 42-45 say, “Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. (43) Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning. (44) ‘Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, 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 public testimony that you have been cleansed.’ (45) But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere.
He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him. “This one man that he healed spread the word in SUCH an influential way that Jesus could even go to his MOST secluded place alone.
Can you imagine?!
In what would normally be someone’s most private moments Jesus was surrounded by people who were just thirsting for the man who cured the leper, the man who brought the outcast in, the man who saved the day. You see Jesus changed the leper’s life, but the leper also changed Jesus life.
We have so much we can take from the leper. First his willingness to immediately be humble to the Lord by kneeling down and speaking so respectfully. We then move on to his rational break out of love for Jesus and not being able to contain his thankfulness that ultimately lead to a thirst for Jesus that was nothing short of a revolution for Christ himself.
We can also take his willingness to serve in whatever vessel that God needed him in. The leper had not much hope but still clung to God and hope in Jesus against much odds. When we leave ourselves open in whatever way God would use us as the Leper did it’s amazing what God can do. We don’t need working leg, arms, ears, or eyes, just a willing heart and a love for Jesus!