Friday, April 22, 2011

Jesus Touches the Leper, and Heals Him

Jesus' love and compassion extended to even those ostracized from society, those who were considered so unclean they were not even allowed within the city limits, for no one is beyond the reach of the Lord's love.

"You can make me clean," had a double meaning -- to cleanse the leprosy, certainly, but it also meant spiritual cleansing, that his sins might be forgiven -- remember that miracles were an illustration to the deeper truths of the gospel, and the revelation of Who Jesus really is. Leprosy, in scripture, was often a metaphor for the corruption of sin.

The leper knew of Jesus' power, but he was unsure of how far the Lord's compassion would go.

By touching the leper Jesus endangered Himself, according to Levitical law, since such contact rendered him ceremonially unclean which would have meant isolation for the proscribed period of time, and a cleansing ceremony including sacrifices at the temple and an examination by the priest.

However, the leper's healing was immediate; the Lord Jesus was able and willing, and the man was clean before Jesus' hand ever touched him.

The leper was to bring his message of healing and restoration to the temple as a testimony to the priests. This was to be a sign that Isaiah's prophecy had indeed been fulfilled: Messiah had come and the lepers were being healed.

The word did spread, and the crowds became nearly unmanageable in their size and demands of His time, however the Lord sought out regular time to be alone with the Father.
"Seeking time with God is key to ministering effectively"
Soon there would be one conflict after another in Jesus' work, so He gathered His courage, His perseverance, strength, wisdom and confidence from communion in the Spirit with the Father.

How do you prepare for what's ahead? How consistently do you set aside time to be alone with the Lord, to receive from Him not only His words of wisdom and encouragement, but His empowering and His instructions for how to face what's coming?

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