JESUS CAME DOWN … (v.1): After delivering his sermon on the mount, ‘he (Jesus) came down from the mountain side.’ It was then that he was encountered by the man with leprosy which ended in his miraculous healing. Was it a chance meeting and so a chance healing? What if Jesus did not come down that way? In answer, we consider similar cases in Jesus’ ministry such as, his meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well while travelling (John 4); his meeting and dramatic saving of Zacchaeus while on a journey (Lk 19), or even his meeting and driving out of evil spirit from the demon-possessed man while on the move (Mk 5:1ff). A careful study affirms that these encounters were more than a chance. In God, things don’t just happen. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.
THE MAN CAME TO JESUS (v. 2): ‘A man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus …’ The man did not simply wait doing nothing. He reciprocated by coming towards Jesus. As one with leprosy, he was hurting physically; ostracized socially, and ceremonially, a defiled person. Thus, his move to come to Jesus would involve braving people’s jeers and opposition, and breaking of ceremonial law. Yet, he made the brave and costly move for his desire to meet Jesus was so intense that nothing could stop him. That’s the kind of seeker God promises to make himself known (Jer. 29:13). His saying, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean’ testify his complete trust in Jesus and submission to his will.
JESUS TOUCHED THE MAN (v. 3): ‘Jesus reached out … and touched.’ The hurting, filthy and socially ostracized man with leprosy must have been shocked at the touch. It must have given a new sense of worth and acceptance. Jesus touched not that he could not heal without the touch. He touched because he cares. As the touch would made him ceremonially unclean, his identification to our humanity made him sin for us. Thus, ‘He was pierced for our transgressions … crushed for our iniquities; … and by his wounds we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus’ words saying, ‘I will. Be clean’ imply the finality and authority of his word. It is God in Christ who has the final say and his word has creative power to heal and transform.
THE MAN TO WITNESS CHRIST (v. 4): ‘But go, and show yourself … as a testimony to them.’ It was not that Jesus wanted to prevent the healed man from witnessing but instructed him how and when to do it. The priests’ certification of his miraculous healing required as per Leviticus law of that time, would not only be powerful but in the process, even the priests themselves witness the transforming grace and power of Christ. At this point, it is timely and appropriate to remind ourselves that we are saved to serve and witness Christ who has saved us from darkness into his marvelous light. To witness Christ is are call and commission (Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:18-19).
CONCLUSION: Like the man with leprosy, Jesus is willing and able to transform your life. Confess your sin and commit your life to him. It takes just a moment for God to forgive and make you his child. Give God a chance in your life – today!
Rev. L. M. Vanchhanwng