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." (Mat 8:1-4)
This is a very rich passage of Scripture and it led to me to a myriad of thoughts.
1. The leper's approach - Lepers had to declare themselves. They walked around announcing "unclean" for all to hear. It was a declaration of sickness, a warning to all those who were healthy to stay away. This leper stepped out in faith to meet the Lord. As non-Christians, we had a kind of spiritual leprosy, we were unclean in our sin and had to approach Christ in faith for our spiritual healing as well.
2. If you will - I like the faith the leper had here. He obviously had a severe need of healing and knew the Lord could do it, yet his approach acknowledged that it would only happen if it was the Lord's will. I read this and recognize that even in my worst state, I do not always seek God's will when asking Him to answer prayer. I just want answers. A humbling reminder to seek God's will more than my own.
3. Jesus touched him - He could have spoken a word. He could have told him to wash in some river. Instead, Jesus reached out and touched the leper. Physically contacting this diseased man in order to heal him. This would have, according to Jewish law, made Jesus unclean as well. It also reminds me that the Lord took on our disease at the cross. He bore our sin so that we could be healed spiritually.
4. A Testimony - Jesus told the now healed leper to tell no one, but to go to see the priest and make the required offerings. This was to be a testimony to what the Lord did in His life. It would have come at some expense and travel for this man to put his faith in action again. When the Lord heals us today, it is so that He will receive glory, as a testimony of His power!
As I said, a few thoughts stirred by this passage of Scripture.