Lord Jesus, Are You Willing?

Matthew 8:1–4 “When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

Matthew now is going to put forth Jesus as healer. A leper comes and kneels before Jesus and asks him if he is willing to make him clean. The leper knows Jesus has the authority and the power, but is unsure if he is willing. The leper knew that he was unclean according to the law of Moses. He knew enough not to touch Jesus, for his touch would have made Jesus unclean. Jesus takes the initiative and moves towards the leper. He simultaneously stretches out his hand to touch the leper, while commanding the leper to be clean. By the time Jesus’ hand makes contact with the leper, the leper has been made clean. Jesus makes contact with a clean man and not an unclean.

The other amazing thing in this text is that Jesus tells the now clean leper to show himself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded. This shows that Jesus obeyed the Old Testament laws. It also shows that the Old Testament laws are intended to point to Jesus. The leper will go to the priest and bring his gift. This gift will be an offering of thanksgiving to God because Jesus was willing to make an unclean man clean.

This is the season of the year where we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah. He came to offer his life as a sacrifice to make unclean persons clean. His offer is for you and for me. Jesus is pleased to reach forth his hand and touch the unclean person who kneels before him and simply says Lord, if you are willing…

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