The Man with Leprosy
When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” -- Matthew 8:1-4
Jesus had just finished his sermon on the mount. Large crowds of people had followed him as he descended from the mountain, many of whom had undoubtedly heard his sermon.
Among those who surrounded the Lord was one who was a spectacle of affliction and misery, a leper who approached Christ with awe, kneeling before him, and saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus was willing, and the leper was healed.
In the leper, a representation of the sinner
- Leprosy resides in the infection and impurity of the blood, while sin is a moral defilement of our nature
- Leprosy is contagious, as is sin, creating an atmosphere of disease and death
- Leprosy is of a spreading nature, as is sin, which defiles the whole man; body, soul, and spirit
- Leprosy is painful and, at least in that day, loathsome; as is sin
- Leprosy was an incurable and disfiguring disease, at least by human means. This is also the case with sin
- Lepers were excluded from society, as sin separates us from God and his people
- Uncured, leprosy ends in death. Sin, when it is finished, brings forth death