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About-Him Devotional 04-26-03
The life of Christ, from His baptism to His ascension, following the Harmony of the Gospels.
68: The Leper Healed
Mt. 8:2-4; Mk. 1:40-45; Lu. 5:12-13
Matthew 8:2 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.
While on this first of three preaching tours of Galilee, Jesus was approached by a leper. The man fell and worshipped Jesus and and said, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." Jesus simply said, "I will, be clean." Immediately, the man was healed.
Leprosy was a dreaded plague in biblical times, which typified the ravages of sin. It, like sin, would start with a small blemish and spread throughout the whole body. The flesh would rot and drop off. After attacking the vital organs, death was a welcome relief.
The Jews believed that leprosy was a punishment from God for certain sins, therefore the leper was treated very cruelly. He could not enter a walled city and nobody could speak to him. He was required to cover his face, as if in mourning, and continually cry, "Unclean unclean." To touch a leper was considered to be a ceremonial defilement equal to touching the dead.
Jesus instructed the man not to advertise his healing but to go to the priest as a testimony to them and to offer the required gifts for ceremonial cleansing. Leviticus chapters thirteen and fourteen give detailed instructions in the case that a leper were to be healed. Rabinical tradition divided miracles into two groups: those that anyone could do through the Spirit of God and those that only Messiah could do. Leprosy was assigned to the latter. Thus Jesus was making a claim to Messiahship when He sent the man to the priest. They would isolate and inspect the man and inquire who had performed this miracle.
The healed man just couldn't keep quite. The fame of Jesus spread quickly, resulting in larger crowds seeking healing. Jesus, knowing the ordeal that would result, withdrew himself to the wilderness and prayed.
Conclusion and Application:
There is no problem too big that the simple touch of the Master can't handle. When we call, we hear His sweetly saying, "I will."
As the old chorus goes, "He's done so much for me that I cannot tell it all." Just like this leper, we simply can't keep quiet when we've been touched by the Master.
Jesus set the example, as the pressure increased, He prayed all the more.
69: The Return to Capernaum
Jesus returned to Capernaum and when it was known that He was there, great crowds gathered once again seeking His touch.
Next Week: The Paralytic Healed
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A college student with a young child was pleased when her daughter became eligible to attend the day care center at the University.
The director of the day care gave the mother a tour of the facilities. To assure herself of the center's high standards, the young mother asked about the curriculum.
"Well," said the director, eyes twinkling, "today we are studying the children's favorite philosopher: Play-Doh."
Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. - Jesus Christ
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Don & Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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