This is what God gave me today in His word:
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 8:2-4)
Leprosy is a very good analogy for sin, as it does physically, what sin does Spiritually: leprosy causes the deadening of nerves, and if left untreated, it can sometimes (though rarely) cause death. Repeated sin causes the deadening of the conscience, and if not treated by belief in Christ, will cause death. So, with that in mind, we can see the leper we’re presented with here as an example of what we’re to do with sin. Let’s examine what happens:
The first thing we’re told, is that the leper kneels. He acknowledges that Jesus is over him. Then he demonstrates his faith by saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” Now, Jesus’ response to the leper’s plea is shocking. He stretches out His hand and touches the leper, and then cleanses Him. Jesus Christ, the only pure and sinless man on Earth, has apparently just committed a sin. We can see that here:
3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. (Leviticus 5:3, KJV)
Another thing to know about leprosy, is that it’s typically transferred from person to person by physical contact. Not casual contact, but from something rather like deliberately putting your hand on someone with the disease. To be sure, leprosy is something which will make someone “defiled”, thus when Jesus put His hand on the man with leprosy, He knew He would be defiled in order to make the man clean… Or would He? We know that Jesus later went on to become a completely sinless sacrifice for all.
The thing is, Jesus was never actually defiled. Rather, He passed His righteousness onto the man. Only on the cross was Jesus ever defiled by our sin, and that only needed to happen once. It didn’t happen twice: once for this leper, and then again for everyone else.
But, to get back on topic: the final thing we see happening, is Jesus telling the man to go and offer the, “gift that Moses commanded”. The order of events could be put like this:
First the leper comes and kneels before Christ, then He asks to be healed. Jesus answers by putting His hand on the man, and healing Him. Then, He tells Him to go and offer a gift. Or, to put modern terms on it, we’ve got repentance, salvation, and finally sanctification. We see the last of these in the “gift” the man was told to give. One of the evidences of Christianity is in giving, not per se money, but of time, energy, and the like.
The point being this: we are all Spiritually lepers. It’s only by Jesus saving us that we can now live as we do; a life all but cured from the disease of slavery to sin. So we should do what the leper in the story was told to do. i.e., go to our priest, Jesus, and offer a gift of praise.
You are Loved!