THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 34
“I will; be clean.”
”When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 8:1-4.
Imagine this scene with me, if you will: When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. Dozens, hundreds, thousands of people? Such an audience, full of questions, anticipation and perhaps, excitement.
And a leper came up to Him in this throng of perhaps thousands of people, and bowed down before Him. Most likely, no one noticed at first. No one except Jesus. And, if anyone had noticed, they would have been, no doubt, terrified and repelled by this man’s disease.
The leper spoke, “Lord, if You are willing, You are able to make me clean (well).” Again, how could he have been heard above the crowd noise? Nonetheless, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. He touched him despite the disease, despite the potential reaction from the crowd, and said, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
Immediately, his leprosy was cleansed.
There are many more millions who claim to be Christ followers, Christians, and deny that these things happen any longer. I have personally heard those who attend church regularly and open declare they are Christians, say these miracles have ceased, “ with no Biblical justification. They say that Jesus did these things to draw crowds, and since He has been crucified and His Church established, these things (miracles) are no longer necessary”, or so they say. And, by the words of their mouth, it has come to pass – at least in their presence.
Jesus said the reason miracles had ceased or slowed, or that even He could do few things in some places, was because of their “unbelief’ (see Matthew 17:20 and Mark 6:1-6 ).
Imagine, at any time, anyone standing in judgement on Jesus’ ability or standing in judgement on the veracity of the Holy Scriptures. A terrifying thought.
Nonetheless, Jesus said to the now-cleansed-leper, “See that you tell no one [about this]; but go, show yourself to the priest [for inspection] and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony (evidence) to them [of your healing].”
This man is restored physically, undoubtedly renewed spiritually and ready to be reintegrated into society. Made whole, made safe, healed; the very definition of ‘to be saved’ (sozo).
Finally, what about the crowd? Where have they gone? They aren’t mentioned again. They must still have been there, watching. Our attention is drawn away from the crowed and what they think. It doesn’t matter. The business at hand is Jesus healing a person in need. That is what matters. That is all that has ever mattered. You and Jesus, renewing your spirit, saving your soul, healing your mind, body and spirit.
If He calls you, come to Him. If you come to Him, ignore the crowds – they are just a curious distraction. Follow Jesus, only.
Your Brother and Friend,
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “I will come and heal him…”
PREVIOUS: NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “Build your house on the Rock…”
A seminary professor recently remarked that in his 40-something years in ministry as a pastor, teacher and professor, training young men and women for ministry, he has never seen such a dearth of young men desiring to become pastors. He attributes this decline to the complexities of requirements, the mounting pressures of becoming more than a pastor to be a pastor and fear; the fear of having to say things that society is becoming increasingly hostile toward. The fear of speaking Biblical truth that results in rejection, animosity and isolation from society at large and even in the church, in part.
TO ASPIRING PASTORS: Don’t come if you are not called. If you are fearful of what you will have to say, don’t come.
If you do come, fear not! And, don’t let the crowds rule you – they are just a curious distraction. Follow Jesus, alone.