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Matthew
  
B - THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST IN CAPERNAUM AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
(MATTHEW 8:1 - 9:35)

1. The Leper Healed
(Matthew 8:1-4)
1When HE had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.2And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”3Then Jesus put out His hands and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.4And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Mark1:40-44; Luke5:12-14)


This miracle is fitly recorded as the first of Christ’s miracles, because the leprosy was looked upon, among the Jews, as a particular mark of God’s judgment. Hence we find Miriam, Gehazi and Uzziah, smitten with leprosy for some particular sin. Therefore Christ, to reveal that He came to turn away the wrath of God by taking away sin, began with the healing of a leper.
Because this disease was supposed to come immediately from God, so it was supposed to be removed immediately by Him too. Therefore it was not supposed to be cured by physicians, but was put under the inspection of the priests, the Lord’s ministers, who had to examine and see what God would do (Leviticus 13:1 – 14:57). The followers of Jesus wondered how Christ let the leper come near Him and did not turn him away, and how Christ overstepped the regulations and customs of their nation to save this despised and rejected person. Christ proved Himself to be God, by healing many from the leprosy and authorizing His apostles, in His name, to do so too (Matthew 10:8). This is one of His proofs of His being the Messiah.
The leper, who was an outcast, believed with all his heart, in the power of Christ, for he had heard of his miraculous acts and trusted His divine capability. He worshiped Him in front of all, saying, “Lord.” The poor man murmured in his worship asking to be cleansed, opening his heart and soul to the generosity of Christ, and believing in His great power. He added, “if you are willing, You can make me clean.” Christ immediately responded to this total devotion to Him. He was not afraid of being infected, but touched the affected skin, in spite of the resentment of the multitudes who moved backward with fear and fright. By this touch to the leper, Christ proved His Deity saying, “I am willing; be cleansed,” when He cleansed and cured him. He did not say, as Elisha to Naaman, “Go, wash in Jordan”; He did not put upon him a tedious, troublesome, chargeable course of a medical treatment, but spoke the powerful word of absolute authority and healed him at once.
In this brief statement, we see the proclamation of the effective and essential will of God. He has created us and He will guide, cure, save, sanctify and perfect us. God is willing and is working towards cleansing us from corruption, and He has the power to save us. Never forget that Christ answered the prayer of the leper by clear words, “I am willing; be cleansed.” By the exceptional power of the Lord, the leprosy immediately left the man, his affected skin was renewed, and the once inactive, lifeless nerves of his body grew.
The multitudes were shocked and astonished at the power of Jesus and the greatness of His mighty love. They experienced the presence of the divine power and saw in the miracle a proof of the divinity of the greatest physician. Thus He will touch you to clean you, take your hand and support you that you may believe that the Lord really loves you and is willing with all His heart to help you and purify you with His holy power.
The Savior sent the cured to the priests that they might officially confirm the triumph of God over this fearful disease, believe in Jesus continuously and testify His supreme power over sin and its results. Christ did not nullify the Law and its commandments, but fulfilled it with His love and humble spirit.

Prayer
O Father, we thank You, for Your will seeks our salvation and purification at all times. You want us to be purified, to worship You and to declare Your plan for salvation in Jesus. Please teach us the courage of faith and the full confidence so that we come to Him and give Him our problems, sins and diseases for our redemption’s sake, that we may be purified, for You want us to be purified and saved forever.
Question
Why did Matthew mention the healing of the leper as the first of Christ’s miracles?
PART 1
THE PRELIMINARY PERIOD IN THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST
(MATTHEW 1:1 – 4:25)
PART 2
CHRIST TEACHES AND MINISTERS IN GALILEE
(MATTHEW 5:1 – 11:1)
PART 3
THE UNBELIEVING JEWS AND THEIR ENMITY TO JESUS
(MATTHEW 11:2-18:35)
PART 4
JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE JORDAN VALLEY DURING HIS JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 19:1 – 20:34)
PART 5
JESUS’ LAST MINISTRIES IN JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 21:1 – 25:46)
PART 6
CHRIST’S SUFFEINGS AND DEATH
(MATTHEW 26:1-27:66)
PART 7
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(MATTHEW 28:1-20)