(Today's post by Keith Senator)
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.”
How is this possible? I know it is possible because I see it right there in the Bible. I am always perplexed with Jesus and his command over sickness, disease, the weather, whatever. It gives me pause because I want to know if we have the same power that Christ had when he walked not he earth. Since the Holy Spirit resides in us, it seems possible. If you have some ideas on this, please do comment.
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 kingdomwill 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.
This is much more common to us because we are asking for healing in many cases where Jesus is not present on the scene of the person we are praying for. But once again, it is a different point in time. Christ was on the earth, he had not ascended to the Father and the Holy Spirit had not descended to us. So the circumstances are different than we have now.
Jesus Heals Many
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”[b]
I just love how prophesy given in the old testament comes to pass in the New Testament. It is amazing to me. I am also curious about what Jesus does specifically when he heals someone. In this case, he touches her hand. Why is this? Could he have touched her anywhere?
In the prophesy, we see that Christ himself took up our infirmities, and he also bore our disease. I am so glad that we have an account of this in the form of the Bible. Who can argue with what actually happened?
The Cost of Following Jesus
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
I always read this last part and thought, “Man Jesus was pretty cold.” But I have since learned more about it. My understanding is that Jesus has his eyes on heaven and on the task of the living. Those who are already gone should no longer be our focus. But the overarching point would be that Jesus is not interested in a lot of excuses. You are either in or out. And when you are in, there is no room to turn to the left or to the right.