The Healing of the Leper

Matthew 8:1-4 - When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

2  And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3  And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4  And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.


There was a great multitude around Jesus, but there was one that this story is about. There may be many people that need Jesus, but you are the only one that really counts.


I.        Leprosy.  A type of sin.  It could be you are lost.  It could be you have a mess in your life caused by disobedience.

1.       Leprosy could be anything from psoriasis to leprosy.  It could be a running sore, or as small a thing as a skin disorder.  Its symptoms ranged from white patches on the skin to running sores to the loss of digits on the fingers and toes.  Leviticus 13 and 14 gives instructions to the priesthood to determine where a person was afflicted with leprosy, or some other disease.  It is very clear that this man had leprosy, not some other skin disorder. 

2.       A generic term applied to a variety of skin disorders from psoriasis to true leprosy.

3.       Leprosy slowly takes away feelings – Don’t know injuries.  Sin slowly takes away the knowledge of sin, and how bad we are in what we think, do and/or say.

4.       A person with leprosy doesn’t die quickly, but slowly.  A person who is born doesn’t die quickly, but slowly, sometimes taking a 100 years.


II.         Came –

1.       Could have longed, but not come.

2.       Could have known, but not come.

3.       Got to know before you can come.

A.     Compare to Luke 17:12 – These lepers stood afar off in obedience.  “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.” 

B.      Worshipped –

1.       Recognizing Jesus is God, and one to be adorned.

2.       A realization that self is nothing and cannot help oneself.

3.       Submission to His power – self has no power.

4.       Dependence on Him for everything.

C.   Ask to be made clean.

1.      Asked about immediate (visual) need only.

2.      Didn’t understand the future responsibilities.


III.   Witness.

A.  One responsibility is traded for another – but the rewards are greater and very different.

1.       The leper will be a witness to the Pharisees.

2.       Couldn’t even go there before.

3.       Did he go or not?

4.       Jesus said be a witness unto them, not against them.

B.   How did Jesus tell the leper to be a witness?

1.       To go into the temple, where he was previously not allowed to go.

2.       Matthew 8:17 – “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”

3.       Matthew 9:30 – “And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.”

4.       Matthew 12:16-21 – “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18  Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. 19  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”