Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

Matthew 8:1-4

After Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, he came down from the mountain with “great multitudes” following him.  A man who was sick with leprosy came to him and “worshipped him, saying Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

Leprosy is a disease that doesn’t affect many people in our day because we have good antibiotics that cure the disease.  But in Jesus’ time, they didn’t have antibiotics, so people who had leprosy were usually affected by the disease for many years, even to the end of their life.  Leprosy caused white patches on the skin and made the person lose feeling in that part of their body.  That made things worse because sometimes the people would get that part hurt or touch something hot and they wouldn’t realize it in time, so the injury would be much worse than if they felt the pain and quickly moved away.  In this time, people with leprosy were told to stay away from everyone else.  The people of the time said that people with leprosy were “unclean.”  So anyone with leprosy had to deal with the problems of the disease and also the problems of being forced to live away from others.  It was a terrible hardship to have leprosy.

This man with leprosy had found Jesus and knew that Jesus could heal him.  The man had heard that Jesus could heal people and believed that Jesus had the power to heal him; he only wondered if Jesus would do it!  So the man came to him, probably kneeling on the ground, and in a sort of prayer, said “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

Jesus Heals the Leper by Harry Anderson

The bible says, “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”  

This was a miracle!  Because Jesus had the power to heal, and because this man believed and asked, he was healed.  Today, if people have leprosy, our antibiotics cure them in 6 months to a year.  But Jesus has more power than that.  WIth Jesus, the leprosy was healed immediately.

Jesus had just been teaching on the mountain how our Father in Heaven will give good things to those who ask.  Jesus teaches that if we ask for good things, with faith believing in him, he will give us those good things.  Faith is a principle of action:  faith is believing in a way so that we act accordingly.  This man with leprosy had faith.  He believed that Jesus could heal him so he acted – he went to Jesus and “worshipped him” asking to be healed.  He asked with faith and Jesus healed him.

What do you think?

  • What is faith?  Is it just believing, or does it take more than that?
  • How can we ask for good things, so that when we ask God in faith, he will give us what is best for us?
  • Do you think Jesus still has power to heal and give good things?

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