Luke 5:13 – January 8, 2021

Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Luke 5:13 NABRE           

Jesus traveling comes across a man covered with leprosy, a term that can refer to several diseases manifested in a skin rash or worse. The man bows and asks Jesus to desire to make him “clean.” It is an interesting choice of language, he is essentially asking to be healed, but to be clean means he can be a full member of the community and is allowed to enter the temple. It is a statement about ritual purity, the man wants to be pure. By curing the man Jesus may be seen as reinforcing purity laws, perhaps indicating there will be no impurity in God’s kingdom. Jesus will tell the man to tell no one, something the man either does not or cannot do. Clearly those who know him will recognize something happened, he is cured and made clean. This will be seen as miraculous. Jesus desires secrecy so that more attention is paid to His teaching rather than His healing. Jesus wants to free those who are oppressed, help the poor, bring liberty, and bring sight to the blind, so naturally healing is part of His ministry, but He knows people will focus on the miracle and not see the message. 

Word does get out about the miracles and the crowds follow Jesus hoping for miracles themselves. Jesus wants to help everyone but He also wants people to help one another. I imagine the healing of this man is secondary from Jesus point of view. Jesus primarily is focused on helping the man stand before God, to know God and pray to God. Something the man could not do if he isn’t allowed in the temple, or the community. His life is focused on being alone and ostracized. Making the man pure gives him the confidence to stand before God, who loves him. 

Do you desire to stand before God? What sin keeps you away? 

Jesus primarily is focused on helping humanity stand before God, to know God and pray to God. Making humanity pure gives us the confidence to stand before God, who loves us. Click To Tweet

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