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Lesson # Matt. 8:1-4
Study Material - Matt. 8:1-4
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 And when He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2 And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him, saying, 'Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.' 3 And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed.' And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, 'See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and present the offering that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.'
We have studied this event in Luke 5. Here Matthew provides this account after the Sermon on the Mount, not necessarily because it followed the Sermon on the Mount chronologically (most historians believe that this encounter actually occurred prior to the Sermon on the Mount), because Matthew does not follow a chronological pattern in his book to some degree, but this gives us a view as to what people know and when they might come to know it.
The leper was a diseased person. Leprosy was viewed as an uncleanness not a disease, therefore the principle of sickness of the soul. Moral decay is a slow wearing away of the soul, beginning with small incidents and expanding at various rates until it encompasses the entire soul. A miserable death follows.
The leper is prevented from entering society, prevented from having fellowship with the rest of normal Israel (the chosen people of God - believers). The leper was forced to live outside the camp. They were totally shut out.
Sin is the leprosy of the soul which is incurable (by mankind) and results in total isolation from God. Leprosy is representative of ones aloneness. With a relationship with God we are all on a one to one basis with God. Either we have a relationship with God which is personal and designed specifically for each one of us, or if we reject God, then that leprosy of the soul isolates us to our own self. We are totally alone in the world. There is no help in the jungle. No help from any other source. We studied this aloneness in Daniel. 'There is no one to help.'
The multitude was following Jesus. A multitude was always following Jesus. But as we have seen and will see over and over again those following were not faithful. They all disappear in the end. We can only imagine the reaction in the crowd when this leper came among them and approached Jesus.
The Pharisees would have backed away and probably would have commanded the leper to 'be gone.' Jesus did none of the sort.
A couple of things are revealed to us. The leper had knowledge of Christ and his abilities. The leper was an isolated person, yet he still had knowledge. Second Christ did not refuse to hear his plea.
God is the same today as in the past, and will remain unchanged forever. Gods plan and policy is consistent and immutable. It never changes. This was true in the day of Jesus and true in the days of Moses, Adam, and in our current day. Lepers from long ago were not cruelly dealt with. The leper of Jesus day knew doctrine. The lepers of Moses day had access to doctrine. There is even an offering for the healing of leprosy spelled out in Leviticus. This healing implies access to doctrine and therefore recovery from the disease.
Just as all of mankind suffers from sin and is in effect cut off from God, we all have access to His Word, therefore we all have the opportunity of healing. The healing process begins with our positive volition toward God and an expression of faith in recognition of Gods power, authority, essence, etc. The leper bowed down to Jesus.
This not only applies to salvation, but it applies to our daily spiritual life as well. The issue in life for unbelievers is salvation - believe in Christ or not. The issue after salvation is not salvation again because once saved always saved. The new issue after salvation is spiritual growth, therefore what is ones attitude toward Bible study, learning, advancing, applying doctrine to ones daily life.
There are many things that man cannot cure. There is nothing that God cannot cure.
The leper was commanded to go to the priest to fulfill the command of Moses, the offering spelled out in the Levitical Laws concerning healing from Leprosy. More is mentioned in Luke 5, but basically this is an announcement to the world that something is happening in history. When a leper comes to a priest and appears healed, then the priest has to wonder what manner of healing this is, and where it came from. Only God can heal such a disease. So where are the priests?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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