Go Get Your Life Back: You’ve Been Shut Up, Separated & Alone For too Long

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically today’s passage is found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament book. “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them” (Matthew 8:1-4).

 

            “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my root: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Matthew 8:5-13).

 

            “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:14-17).

 

            “Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him,  Master, I will follower thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead” (Matthew 8:18-22).

 

            “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great temptest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:23-27).

 

            “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:28-34).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the Sermon on the Mount having concluded. As you come to the end of the seventh chapter you will find all those who heard and listened to the words which Jesus spoke marveling at His teaching and the doctrine which He proceeded to present unto them. Moreover the apostle Matthew writes and records how the multitude which heard the words which the Lord Jesus spoke being astonished at His doctrine for He taught them as one who had authority unlike the scribes and the Pharisees which were among them. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is for Jesus would indeed present the declaration of the kingdom of heaven unto all those who gathered themselves unto Him and would reveal some of the mysteries and truths surrounding this kingdom. This is entirely and altogether astounding and remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider how the fourth chapter concludes for as you come to the final verses of the fourth chapter you will find Jesus calling and inviting men and women to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. What’s more is that after the Lord Jesus called men and women to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand He would begin demonstrating the kingdom of heaven among them in their midst. You cannot read the final words of the fourth chapter and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the demonstration of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth—a demonstration that would be in all power, authority and dominion.

 

            It is with this in mind and having said this I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the final verses of the fourth chapter. The words which we find in this passage of Scripture calls and invites us into the place of the demonstration of the kingdom of heaven—demonstration that was in power, authority, might and dominion. What’s more is that when you read the words which are found in the final verses of the fourth chapter you must consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his epistles unto the Thessalonian and Corinthian saints. It would be when writing unto these churches and congregations the apostle Paul would emphatically declare that the kingdom of heaven was not manifested in word only but in power and in the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. Having said this I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the writings of the apostle Paul before transitioning to the final verses in the fourth chapter. Consider if you will the words of the apostle Paul wrote beginning with the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints:

 

            “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

 

            “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?” (1 Corinthians 4:14-21).

 

            “WE give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place you faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-10).

 

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the demonstration and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth. It is true that there is a manifestation of the kingdom of heaven that is found in words—in teaching and in preaching the word of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a manifestation of the kingdom of heaven that is found in teaching and preaching and yet we must needs recognize and understand that there is another side to that view—namely, the fact that the kingdom of heaven must also have the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and of power. The apostle Paul emphatically declared unto both the Corinthian and Thessalonian congregations that the kingdom of heaven was not of word only but was of power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. This is indeed something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven within the earth and how there must needs be the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I am convinced this is what is so significant about the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke as well as the words which are found in the final verses of the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John Mark:

 

            “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogues were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:14-22).

 

            “Afterward he appeared unto the elven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelieve and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:14-20).

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the demonstration and manifestation of the Holy Spirit and power within and upon the earth. Luke writes and records how after the Lord Jesus had been tempted of the devil in the wilderness and had overcome each of the temptations he hurled against Him he returned unto Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. Not only this but we also find that in the town of Nazareth Jesus would read the words found written within the prophetic book of Isaiah in the sixty-first chapter concerning the Spirit of the Lord being upon Him and anointing Him to preach—and not only to preach but also to demonstrate the power and authority of the living God. What we find in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke is not only Jesus returning from the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit but also the Holy Spirit anointing Him—both to preach the gospel of the kingdom of heaven unto the poor as well as to demonstrate the power, the authority and the dominion of the living God upon the earth. This is precisely what we find in the final verses of the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. It is in the final verses of the fourth chapter where we find a wonderful and powerful demonstration of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth as the Lord Jesus would indeed exercise power, authority and dominion within the earth.

 

            Having said this I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the twenty-third verse. It is in the fourth chapter beginning with the twenty-third verse we find the beginning of the demonstration of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth in the region of Galilee. We know that after Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit He would dwell in Capernaum that the words which were spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled during those days. After coming and dwelling in Capernaum we find Jesus coming unto the Sea of Galilee and coming upon two sets of brothers who were fishermen by trade. The apostle Matthew writes first and foremost concerning the brothers Andrew and Peter and how Jesus would come upon them as they were casting their net into the sea. Jesus would come upon and see these two brothers and would call and invite them to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Immediately Andrew and Simon left their nets and followed Him without thinking twice and without any hesitation and reservation. Immediately after this we find the Lord Jesus going on from that place and seeing two other brethren—James the son of Zebedee and John his brother in a ship with their father mending their nets. Jesus would come upon and see these two brothers and would call and invite them to follow Him just as He had done Andrew and Peter. Immediately James and John would leave their father and their nets and would follow Jesus together with Andrew and his brother Simon. It would be after this we find the beginning of the demonstration of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth—something which must needs be understood when seeking to understand the words and language found in the eighth chapter. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of this New Testament gospel beginning to read with and from the twenty-third verse:

 

            “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy: and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan” (Matthew 4:23-25).

 

            The words and language we find in this passage of Scripture are incredibly powerful when you take the time to think about the demonstration and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth for not only would Jesus preach the gospel of the kingdom but He would also heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. As a direct result of this His fame would go throughout all Syria and they would bring unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy and he healed them. That which is found in this passage of Scripture would be the first mention in Scripture of the demonstration of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth—something which we have a great need to recognize and pay close attention to. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth surrounding the demonstration of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth through signs, wonders, miracles and healings. Jesus would indeed return from the wilderness and desert where He was tempted of the devil and would return in the power and might of the Holy Spirit. Not long after this we find the Lord Jesus beginning to healing the sick which were present in the midst of the earth during those days. It would be in the fourth chapter of this passage of Scripture we find that Jesus would teach in the synagogues within and throughout Galilee, would preach the gospel of the kingdom and heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

 

            When you come to the final verses of the seventh chapter you will find that when Jesus had finished His teaching on the mount—that which has been known as “The Sermon on the Mount”—the people who heard and listened to his words were astonished at his doctrine. That which the people who were present found most astonishing and powerful was that He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. The seventh chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative concludes with those who heard and listened to the words which Jesus spoke marveling and being astonished at His doctrine and how He taught them as one who had authority and entirely unlike their scribes and the other religious leaders of that day. In coming to the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you will find a chapter that is saturated and replete with example after example of the demonstration and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven. From healing a man with leprosy, to healing Simon Peter’s mother in law of a fever, to healing the servant of a Roman centurion, to standing up in the midst of the storm and commanding the wind and the waves to be still we find the Lord Jesus exercising dominion and authority in a way which the disciples and those who were present during those days had never seen possible. With this being said we must needs recognize that the eighth chapter begins with Jesus coming down from the mountain and great multitudes following Him. Despite the multitudes there would come a leper who would worship Him—perhaps even worship Him in the midst of the multitudes which had followed the Lord Jesus.

 

            I am convinced it is necessary for us to recognize and understand the words which are found within this passage for within it we find one who was undoubtedly an outcast and one who was ostracized during those days because of the condition of his flesh. To have leprosy—regardless of where the leprosy was and how much of you body was covered with it—would automatically make one unclean according to the Law of Moses. The words which we find in the eighth chapter of this gospel presents us with a man who was not only unclean according to the Law of Moses but also one who was considered a pariah in the midst of the culture and society of that day. Undoubtedly this man not only had to deal with his being unclean according to the Law of Moses but he also had to deal with being ostracized, marginalized and vilified by all those who were present during those days. Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how long this man had been a leper, however, we do know that despite the physical condition of his flesh he was willing to brave the crowds that he might worship before and in the presence of Jesus. We don’t know if this man was forced to push and force his way through the crowd in order to come unto Jesus, however, we do know that He undoubtedly had to make his way through the crowd in an attempt to be made clean of that which had plagued his physical body.

 

            In order to truly understand just how serious this condition and plague of leprosy truly was for this man you must needs turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. It is in this particular passage of Scripture we find written and commanded in the Law of Moses the statutes and decrees concerning that man or that woman who had the plague of leprosy within their physical body and persons. Leprosy was not something that was to be taken lightly and was something that was to be taken very seriously by anyone who had the plague of leprosy within their physical bodies and anyone who would come in contact with one who had the plague of leprosy. With this being said I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus beginning to read with and from the first verse:

 

            “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a sab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: and the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days: and the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more: and the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. But if the scab spread much abroad in the skin, after that he hath been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again; and if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy” (Leviticus 13:1-8).

 

            “When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest; and the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh in the rising; it is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean, and shall not shut him up; for he is unclean. And if a leprosy break out abrtoad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his head even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh; then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean. But when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean. And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean; it is leprosy. Or if the raw flesh turn again, and be changed unto white, he shall come unto the priest; and the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the plague be turned into white; then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean” (Leviticus 13:9-17).

 

            “The flesh also, in which, even in the skin thereof, was a boil, and is healed, and in the place of the boil there be a white rising, or a bright spot, white, and somewhat reddish, and it be shewed to the priest; and if, when the priest seeth it, behold, it be in sight lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white; the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil. But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be not lower than the skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: and if it spread much aborad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague. But if the bright spot say in his place, and spread not, it is a burning boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean” (Leviticus 13:18-23).

 

            “Of if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white; then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the hair in the bright spot be turned white, and it be in sight deeper than the skin; it is a leprosy broken out of the burning: wherefore the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hair in the bright spot, and it be no lower than the other skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: and the priest shall look upon him the seventh day: and if it be spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. And if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not in the skin, but it be somewhat dark: it is a rising of the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him clean: for it is an inflammation of the burning” (Leviticus 13:24-28).

 

            “If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard; then the priest shall see the plague: and, behold, if it be in the sight deeper than the skin; and there be in it a yellow thin hair; then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is dry scall, even a leprosy upon the head or beard. And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it be not in sight deeper than the skin, and that there is no black hair in it; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague of the scall seven days: and in the seventh day the priest shall look on the plague: and, behold, if the scall spread not, and there be in it no yellow hair, and the scall be. Not in sight deeper than the skin; he shall be shaven, but the scall shall be not shave; and the priest shall shut up him that hath the scall seven days more: and in the seventh day the priest shall look on the scall: and, behold, if the scall be not spread in the skin, nor be in sight deeper than the skin; then the priest shall pronounced him clean: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. But if the scall spread much in the skin after his cleansing; then the priest shall look on him; and, behold, if the scall be spread in the skin, the priest shall not seek for yellow hair; he is unclean. But if the scall be in his sight at a stay, and that there is black hair grown up therein; the scall is healed, he is clean; and the priest shall pronounce him clean” (Leviticus 13:29-37).

            “If a man also or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots; then the priest shall look: and, behold, if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh be darkish white; it is a freckled spot that growth in the skin; he is clean. And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean. And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean. And if there be in the bald head, or his bald forehead. Then the priest shall look upon it:, and behold, if the rising of the sore be white reddish in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, as the leprosy appeareth in the skin of the flesh; he is leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head. And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone: without the camp shall his habitation be” (Leviticus 13:38-46).

 

            SHUT UP! DEFILED! UNCLEAN! DWELL ALONE! WITHOUT THE CAMP! Please don’t miss the incredible importance of what is found within this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding just how serious leprosy was according to the law of Moses. The living God made it perfectly and abundantly clear unto Moses atop the mountain in the wilderness that the one who was leprous was indeed one who was unclean according to the law of Moses. The living and eternal God made it perfectly and abundantly clear that once the plague of leprosy was discovered that one who was leprous needed to show themselves unto the priest and in most cases they were to shut themselves up for a minimum of seven days. What we must needs recognize and understand is that it was possible for one who was leprous to be shut up for seven days and come out on the other side of those seven days and be pronounced clean. What makes the narrative of this man in the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew so incredibly unique and powerful when you think about it is when you consider the fact that he not only braved the crowd but he also dared to make his way into the presence of the Lord Jesus. Who knows that went through the heart and mind of this man during those days and whether or not this man didn’t care if he was unclean according to the law of Moses. The only thing this man knew was that he was leprous and that there was One walking among them who had the power to heal and cleanse him.

 

            If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when considering the words found in this passage it’s that this man might very well have not only been shut up for a considerable amount of time due to his leprosy but he was also leprous for quite some time. Oh I would love to know how long this man had leprosy within his physical body and how long he had been shut up within his own house. The Law of Moses made it perfectly clear that one who had the plague of leprosy not only needed to cry out “Unclean” whenever they went out but they were also to dwell alone. SHUT UP AND ALONE! Oh there is something truly astonishing and powerful about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for there is not a doubt in my mind this man was tired of being shut up—and not only being shut up but also being alone. I would dare say this man was entirely and altogether tired of living his days separated from the rest of the world around him. Scripture is unclear how long this man might have had the plague of leprosy and how long this man might have been shut up, however, we can be all but certain this man was willing to emerge from his isolation and solitude that he might make his way unto the person of the Lord Jesus. I can’t help but imagine and wonder what it was like for this man to emerge from his house and dwelling—perhaps for the first time in weeks or months—in order that he might come unto the presence of the Lord Jesus.

 

            I have to admit there is something truly wonderful and powerful about the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture concerning this man who had leprosy. The more I read and consider the words and language found in this passage the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding this man deciding within himself to come unto the presence of the Lord Jesus with the hope that if He was willing He would make him clean. This man decided to emerge from his isolation, from his solitude and from his place of being alone and separated from society that he might make his way unto the presence of the Lord Jesus. Oh I can’t help but see in this passage of Scripture a powerful picture of the last two years within this nation and country as for most of 2020 men and women were urged to shelter in place and remain inside their homes unless they needed to go out for essentials. I remember during 2020 how most Americans only left their house for groceries, or for coffee, or perhaps even to go unto liquor stores. 2020 was characterized by countless men and women who might have lived and dwelt alone as they were effectively cut off and separated from society. Oh this is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and powerful truth surrounding men and women who could not wait to emerge from their isolation, their separation, their solitude and their quarantine. Some of those who remained isolated within their homes contracted COVID-19 while there were others who contracted this disease and needed to be hospitalized. Oh how many men and women were not only hospitalized with COVID-19 but had to spend whatever time they were in the hands of medical “experts” isolated and alone.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding this man who was leprous and undoubtedly grew sick and tired of being isolated, alone and separated from society. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what it was like for this man to step out of his house and dwelling place for the first time with the express purpose and intention of making his way unto Jesus. Undoubtedly this man had heard about Jesus and how he had healed all manner of sickness and disease. There is not a doubt in my mind this man heard of the great wonders and miracles Jesus did throughout the region of Galilee and decided he would step out of his house knowing full well that he was unclean according to the Law of Moses. This man not only desired to be healed of the plague that was present within his body but also desired to be made clean according to the Law of Moses. If this Jesus of Nazareth was indeed able to make him clean then he would be able to re-enter society once more—something which he had spent a considerable amount of time without and apart from. What an incredibly powerful thought it is to think about this man who was not only willing to brave being among the culture and society of his day that he might enter into and come unto the presence of the Lord Jesus. This man resolved and purposed within his heart that he would once and for all leave his house that he might come unto Jesus. This man wasn’t entirely sure if Jesus was going to be willing to heal him, however, he was willing to take the risk in leaving his house that he might make his way unto Jesus with the hope that upon finding Him and entering into His presence He might heal him.

 

            I find the narrative of the man who had the plague of leprosy so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding a man who had perhaps grown tired of being isolated and alone. Although this passage does not specifically deal with COVID-19 and speaks of leprosy I can’t help but see a powerful picture of a generation who grew tired of being isolated and alone because of a virus and pandemic that was present within the world in which we live. I know and realize this passage doesn’t at all deal with nor does it speak about COVID-19 and a global pandemic, however, I am absolutely and completely convinced that it can in fact speak to countless men and women within this generation who have grown tired, weary and worn down with being stuck inside their homes. Regardless of whether or not they had contracted COVID-19 or not there is a generation of men and women who went absolutely crazy inside their minds having been stuck inside to help stop the spread of a virus that was present in our culture and society. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention—not only to this man’s willingness to emerge from his house after being shut up and isolated but also his willingness to enter into society one more time to hopefully experience healing and cleansing from the one who was called Jesus of Nazareth. This man had spent what might have been a considerable amount of time living and dwelling in isolation and separation from society and the culture in which he was living and was willing to risk everything with and for the hope of coming unto Jesus in an attempt to be healed of the plague within his physical body.

 

            How absolutely wonderful and incredible this passage truly is when you take the time to think about and consider it for it bring us face to face with a man who was unclean—not merely according to society’s standards but according to the Law of Moses. It’s worth noting this man was indeed unclean according to the Law of Moses and when he came unto Jesus he not only sought to be healed of his leprosy but he also sought to be cleansed of the plague which had been within and upon his body for however long. This man was willing to risk the crowds and was willing to risk being present among culture and society that he might come unto the presence of the Lord Jesus to be healed once and for all of his leprosy. I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t some fear and trepidation within the heart and soul of this man as he had undoubtedly spent a considerable amount of time living in isolation, seclusion and separation from the culture and society in which he lived. ON this particular day this man would purpose and resolve within his heart and mind to depart from his house and make his way unto the Lord Jesus that he might once and for all be healed of his leprosy. What’s more is that this passage of Scripture seems to give every indication this man wasn’t even sure if Jesus would heal him. Once in the presence of the Lord Jesus this man didn’t ask Jesus to heal him but rather declared unto the Lord Jesus if He was willing He could make him clean. This man’s request essentially placed his healing and his cleansing on the Lord Jesus and whether or not he would be willing to heal him. Once in the presence of the Lord Jesus this man would worship Him and would emphatically declare unto Jesus that if He was willing He would make Him clean.

 

            I have to admit that I absolutely love the words and language within this passage of Scripture for this entire chapter expresses the willingness of Jesus to minister unto those who were in need. The passage would begin with this man who had suffered from the plague of leprosy coming into the presence of Jesus and declaring unto Him that if he was willing He would make him whole. Jesus not only declares that He was willing to make him whole but would even stretch forth His hand to heal and cleanse him. Pause for a moment and consider how incredibly powerful this truly is for not only would Jesus declare unto this man that He was willing to make Him clean but He was also willing to stretch forth His hand and touch him. Knowing full well this man had leprosy and was unclean according to the Law of Moses this man named Jesus of Nazareth—the One who was altogether clean and would and could not be defiled from this man’s leprosy—would stretch forth His hand and touch Him. What an incredibly powerful picture this truly is when you think about and consider it for the Lord Jesus was more than willing to heal this man of his plague of leprosy and was also willing to stretch forth His hand and touch Him. In a culture and society in which this man was perhaps avoided, shunned, ostracized, marginalized and vilified the Lord Jesus would stretch forth His hand to touch Him. Oh Jesus could have merely spoken the word unto this man to heal and cleanse him of his leprosy and yet what he chose to do was something altogether astonishing and powerful when you think about it. The Lord Jesus was more than willing to heal this man and was in fact willing to stretch forth his hand that this man might be healed by and through the touch of the Lord Jesus—and not only by the touch but also by Jesus’ command to be healed and be cleansed.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to draw and call your attention to the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding Jesus’ willingness to minister unto those who were in need. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus being willing to heal this man of his leprosy, you will find the Lord Jesus being willing to heal Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever and even being willing to heal the servant of the Roman centurion. Pause for a moment and consider how incredibly strong and powerful this truly is for while this chapter is indeed a chapter that further outlines and demonstrates the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven it also demonstrates the willingness of the Lord Jesus to heal those who were in need. From something as common as a fever, to healing one who was sick with the palsy and grievously torment, to someone who was unclean from the plague of leprosy the Lord Jesus was indeed willing to bring complete and utter healing to those who were in need. What is truly astonishing and powerful about this passage of Scripture is how absolutely willing Jesus was to heal those who were in need—regardless of whether it was by a simple touch or by a spoken word. Jesus expressed a willingness to go with the Roman centurion unto his home where his servant lie only to find the centurion declaring unto him that he was unwilling to have Him under his roof. The centurion would go on to declare that if Jesus merely spoke the word he knew his servant would be healed for he himself was not only a man under authority but was also a man in authority. The centurion knew the power of a command and knew that if Jesus merely gave the command concerning his servant he would be healed—something that would cause the Lord Jesus to marvel at the faith that was found within this one who was not even of the stock or heritage of the children of Israel.

            If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus coming unto Simon Peter’s house and seeing his wife’s mother laid and sick of a fever. Jesus would proceed to touch her hand and the fever would immediately leave her. As a direct result of this Peter’s mother in law would arise and minister unto them. When the evening had come on this particular day they would bring unto him many that were possessed with devils and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick. What makes this all the more intriguing and powerful when you take the time to think about it is when you consider that the ministry of the Lord Jesus was a direct fulfillment of the word which spoken by the prophet Isaiah concerning the Lord Jesus taking our infirmities and bearing our sicknesses. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider the strong contrast between Jesus stretching forth His hand to touch the man with leprosy and Simon Peter’s mother in law to bring healing unto them and His speaking the word—not only to drive and cast out unclean spirits but also to heal the centurion’s servant and even calm the storm that threatened the disciples in the midst of the sea. What an incredible and powerful contrast is found in this passage of Scripture between the Lord Jesus being able to speak the word that brings healing and peace and Jesus’ stretching forth His hand to bring about healing. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and how the Lord Jesus would heal a man with leprosy, would heal Simon Peter’s mother in law, would cast out unclean spirits, would heal a Roman centurion’s son, would deliver two men possessed with evil spirits in the Gadarenes and even calming the wind and the waves with His word. Oh that we would indeed recognize the tremendous authority, power, dominion and might of the Lord Jesus Christ—not only to stretch forth His hand to bring forth healing into the hearts and lives of countless men and women but also to calm the storms which rage within our hearts, within our minds and within our lives.

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