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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Bible Study Matthew 8:1-4 Jesus Healing the Leper
For the leper to obtain his healing, he had to seek out where Jesus was. When he found Jesus the very first thing he did was to worship Him. The leper did not ask for healing right away, but worshiped him. Then he asked to be healed if it was Jesus' will, and said he believed Jesus can heal him. Even though the leper knew Jesus could heal him, he did not know the will of God. He did not have the Bible. What he would have known from the Torah was what the Pharisees taught. He may have seen Jesus heal others and/or heard Jesus speak. We do not know if the leper only heard about Jesus, witnessed a healing from a distance, or was standing on the outskirts of the crowd on the Mount of Olives. All this leper knew is that Jesus can heal. Because he did not know the will of God, he asked Jesus if it be thy will heal me. Note that he did not command Jesus to heal him, but asked to be healed.
Jesus responded "I will", and healed the leper. Was this the will of God just for the leper, or for everybody? From Jesus' ministry throughout the Bible, there is not a place I know of where he ever turned down someone when they asked him, and told him that they believed that he could heal them. He did not even have to be touching the person or be in their presence to heal them. This can be seen in the next verses about the centurion asking for a servant's healing. It is God's will to heal everyone who asks him, and believes that he can heal them.
Today many pray to God, if it is your will. The problem is that we know the will of God through his word. All we need to do to know what the will of God is to study God's word. Most people do not even read the Bible. They are lucky enough to crack open the Bible during church service. Then they expect to know everything just from hearing the sermons once a week. Hearing the Word builds faith, but reading the Word gives you personal knowledge and realization of what the Bible is saying. When we know the will of God, we can pray confidently knowing our prayers are in the will of God, and that God will answer them.
The other thing interesting here is in verse 4 where Jesus tells the leper to tell no one that he healed him. First we know that the crowd followed Jesus off the mountain in Matthew 8:1. It takes a crowd awhile to dissipate especially when they are following the speaker. When Jesus gave the instruction to the leper, there was already the crowd of people around them who saw Jesus heal the leper. In verse 4, Jesus only gave the instruction to the leper, and not the entire crowd that was there with them. Why did Jesus give the instruction to the leper not to tell anyone knowing there were others around watching and listening to what was happening? More than likely a few in the crowd would spread the word about the miracle.
I believe this may go back to Jesus' earlier teaching while on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 6:1-6 and Matthew 6:18. Here Jesus taught to do things in secret. Jesus was not able to perform this miracle in secret being out in the open with many people around him. Jesus would not be afraid of drawing a bigger crowd to him, since there were people in the crowd who more than likely went and told as many as they could. Then this principle of doing things in secret, do not boast to others, and you will be rewarded was directly for the leper when Jesus told him to tell no one. Jesus may not have wanted to be boasted about. Even though he was the divine Son of God, he was also human. If the leper did not receive that instruction, he may have gotten so side tracked with telling all he could about the miracle, that he might not have made it to the priest and offered the gifts Moses commanded.