Lord, awe and wonder grip me as I consider that you are all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful. I trust you and praise you.
Read Matthew 8:1–13
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
- Matthew 8:2 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat would you like to ask Jesus to do in your life today, if he is willing? Tell him now.
Both the afflicted man and the Roman centurion recognized Jesus’ authority (vs 2,8). They knew he had power to heal. Boldly, they asked him to meet their need. Jesus restored the man with the skin disease completely, and the sick servant to full health immediately. It was a typical, authoritative response, not only demonstrating his divine power, but also his compassion. The subject of skin diseases is dealt with at length in Leviticus 14 – hence Jesus’ instruction that the newly cleansed man should present himself to the priest, who could verify that he was free from disease and able to return to society.
So, how does this story challenge us? Perhaps we need to recognize that our spiritual health is extremely vulnerable. We all suffer from a sin condition, which causes disease with God. However, we can ask for God’s complete healing. He wants us to receive his forgiveness and be restored – day, after day, after day! Like the man and the servant, you may be struggling with a health issue and in need of Jesus’ healing touch. Ask him to intervene, bearing in mind Paul’s comments in 2 Corinthians 12:7–11.
What aspects of your life need to be transformed by Jesus’ restoring power? Pray, using these words from Psalm 51:1: ‘Have mercy on me, O God … according to your great compassion.’
All-Powerful God, I believe you and trust you. I come before you in humbleness and trust, lifting my prayers to you.