One thing you’ll notice about people with leprosy in the Bible – they were desperate. Rejected and outcast for circumstances beyond their control, lepers were isolated, alone and without means to work or provide for themselves or their families. And healing? Forget about it. There was no cure for leprosy at that time and people who contracted it could expect a hideous, odious, ugly, painful and slow death. Yet time and again, it was exactly this desperation that compelled lepers to run to Jesus for help.
In Matthew 8, notice the Bible records that, “large crowds followed Him.” Really, it’s no different today. Many people call themselves Christians, and many more say they follow Jesus. Christianity is still the largest religion in the world! “Crowds” follow Jesus. But. “…then a leper came and worshipped Him.” Out of the crowds broke a desperate man. Someone who no one wanted around. Someone who had lived a life of rejection, pain and disease. That man? He ran to Jesus and worshipped Him. By all standards of the day, he was unclean. He was untouchable. He was so diseased that he wasn’t even sure if Jesus would want Him either… but Jesus did. JESUS touched him. That man, in his pain and desperation and uncleanness, no longer cared what anyone thought. He broke away from the crowd of “followers” and ran to worship Jesus…and Jesus touched him.
Out of the crowds broke a desperate man. Someone who no one wanted around. Someone who had lived a life of rejection, pain and disease…he ran to Jesus and worshipped Him.
But that wasn’t all! “Go your away,” Jesus then told the man, who had been cleansed by a touch from Jesus. Go back to your regular life. Let people see you- the person who had once been untouchable, but who had been cleansed by Jesus. Let them see you. Go and be a witness. In fact, Jesus told him in Matthew 8:4 to show himself to the priest and “offer the gift that Moses commanded as a testimony.” This man’s testimony wasn’t to the world at first! No, his miracle was a testimony to the people who had grown complacent, routine and traditional in their relationship with the Lord. Those in the temple, the “followers” of Jesus. This desperate man who had been touched was first to share his testimony with the people he lived among. Why? Because they had seen who he was, and would then see what Jesus had done. He was a living witness and people would see God because of him! (Read 2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
Thought for today
Everyone has things are hideous, odious, ugly, painful and can lead to a slow death of the spirit, dreams and hopes, relationships and worse. This is exactly what the enemy tries to use to disconnect Christians from the Spirit of God, telling you that whatever you carry is too ugly, even for God to touch. But that’s a lie! The leper, whose issues had made him an outcast, ran to Jesus and worshipped. That was exactly the right response! He had become so desperate that he was willing to break out from the crowd of followers to worship. Worship separates you from the crowd. Yes it makes you stand out, and draw attention, maybe even mockery or derision, yet it also draws the attention of Jesus! “I will,” Jesus said. “I want to,” is what He meant. Run to Him and worship. Your miracle is there, at His feet, where He can reach out and touch you.