Thursday, June 24, 2010
HEALING OF THE MOST DREADED DISEASE (JUNE 25TH FRIDAY (Mt 8: 1-4)
1. A note on leprosy: ‘No other disease reduces a human being for so many years to so hideous a wreck’
• It begins with little nodules which go on to ulcerate every part in the body, the eyebrows fall out, vocal chord become ulcerated, the voice becomes hoarse and the breath wheezes. The sufferer becomes a man/woman of ulcerated growths. This lasts for 9 years, ends in mental decay, coma and ultimately death.
• The other type begins with loss of sensation in some parts. It slowly spread to other parts. You begin to lose your fingers, toes and eventually the whole hand or foot. It lasts for twenty to thirty years. The sufferer dies by inches. (Read also Leviticus 13:14-46)
2. The defilement caused by leprosy was second only to the defilement caused by the contact with the dead body. No one will come near to a leper than four cubits – (a cubit is eighteen inches). If the wind was blowing towards a person from a leper, the leper must stand at least 100 cubits away. No other disease separated a human being from another as leprosy did. It is here Jesus makes the decision of touching the leper.
3. This is the first healing miracle performed by Jesus in Mathew. By this He proved Himself to be God because only God could cure leprosy.
4. The leper did not ask merely to be healed, but he asked to be cleansed. The words “If you are willing” show two things. a) They show great faith in Jesus. B) They show that the leper appeals to the heart of Jesus.
5. Jesus said I am willing. These words communicate several significant things about Jesus
• Jesus was not willing to allow even the most defiled person to perish
• The most defiled need not even urge Jesus to heal them, they simply have to approach him
• The leper did nothing but came to Jesus and Jesus expects nothing in return except faith.
All of us are lepers in some way. Some of us have spiritual leprosy, some mental leprosy, some emotional and some even physical. Many a times we are not even aware of our ulcers. Jesus is the only one who can heal us from these defilements. We should be ready to promptly approach Jesus and surrender to him with total faith. Jesus will surely heal us from our iniquities but only when we take the first step to go near him of course with strong faith.
William Barclays’ Commentary
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible