When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Matthew 8 : 1-4 (NASB)
Jesus has called his first four disciples and has made quite a stir throughout Galilee, preaching the Word of God and healing the sick. Then there is the sermon on the hillside, known as the Beatitudes. In a short time wherever He goes there is a crowd. It is while descending the hill that Jesus is approached by a leper. This is an act of amazing bravery, leprosy was both infectious and deadly thus lepers were not welcomed by people. This man risked violent attack on this day as he broke strict protocols. One can imagine that the crowd following Jesus closely quickly dispersed in horror at the sight of a leper.
The leper came in humility, as every man should before Christ. He had plenty practice of enforced humility with his condition, but here he humbles himself willingly worshipping Christ. He has heard much of Christ and the miracles He has performed, He was someone in whom there was genuine hope. He does not ask for healing or question whether Christ could heal him, his address to Christ was in faith: “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” He knew Christ could heal him. If the crowd wasn’t shocked enough, what Christ did next took it to a whole new level – He touched the leper who was bowed before Him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Touching a leper was just not done, it made that individual unclean based on Jewish law and unable to worship in the Synagogue. The man was instantly and visibly healed. One can only imagine the emotions that flooded through this man, he had been touched by Christ and also healed. He had his life back.
Christ then compelled him to go present himself to the local priest, to give the recommended thanksgiving offering to God. He also told him to keep quiet about it, which really meant don’t waste time talking about it but make haste to the temple to give his offering as a testimony of his healing.
Dear reader, can you visualise the ecstatic man running down the hill praising God? I certainly can! We can learn from this man; he believed Christ could heal him before he even approached Him. Do we have such faith in our walk with the Saviour? Do we believe God before and after prayer? Let us choose to put faith into action, as we believe God.