“Jesus Chooses to Heal”
Now when Jesus had come down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with a skin disease came, kneeled before him, and said, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to. Become clean.” Instantly his skin disease was cleansed. 4 Jesus said to him, “Don’t say anything to anyone. Instead, go and show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded.
This will be a testimony to them.” Matthew 8:1-4
May 9, 2023
In Matthew 8:1-4, we have a story of Jesus choosing the cleanse someone with a skin disease. Not only did Jesus choose to reach out and make human contact with this man (something most people would have never done), but he went a step further; Jesus also cleansed the man. He not only just touched him to remind him that he mattered, but he also changed his life.
You see, this man would now be able to be brought back into the community since he was no longer unclean. A person with leprosy who was cleansed could not reenter society until the priest had officially pronounced them clean. This is why Jesus tells him to go to the priest. Jesus desires that this man to be a part of society and wants to see him in community.
Just imagine what this process must have been like for this man to be healed. He could now reenter society and be “normal” like everyone else. All because he was willing to approach Jesus and all because Jesus was willing to help him. Jesus made a few important choices in this short story found in Matthew’s gospel. He acknowledged the man, he touched the man, and he
cleansed the man. All choices that were modeled by Jesus to others, and choices that ultimately changed this man’s life.
I remember when my daughter Elizabeth was 3-4 years old, she would tell me whether or not she planned to “got to bed nicely” or not on some days. For example, she would say, “Daddy, I don’t think I’m going to go bed nicely tonight.” This simply would mean she had declared I would be getting a hard time when bedtime came around later in the day! It ultimately became her choice if she wanted to go to bed nicely or not. How does this relate to
us? Perhaps it’s a reminder that we also have choices each day on how we choose to treat others with our words and actions. Choices matter in our Christian discipleship. May we each make the decision and choice to follow Jesus and reflect that love each day, including this day that we have been given!
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