but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray. Luke 5:16 NABRE
Luke shares an early healing story. Jesus is greeted by a man with a skin disease that is debilitating, it requires he be separated from the community and always announce his presence because people fear his disease, it is contagious and they did not want to have contact with him, it is called leprosy. Jesus not only responds positively to the man’s request to be made clean, he reaches out and touches the man, counter to all social norms for people with leprosy. Jesus makes the man feel very much human through touch, something he has not experienced since the diagnosis of his disease and Jesus also heals him. After healing the man Jesus request’s he not tell anyone. Jesus knows once people discover there is healing in his touch they will come to Him to be healed or to see a miracle. Jesus is not seeking popularity for what He can do, rather He wants His message about His Father to resonate with and attract people. Jesus wishes people think about and see God when they see him, not a prophet who can work miracles. Unfortunately the man’s healing does become news, it is likely those who see him clean knowing he had leprosy, assume some form of miracle and He would have been pressured to tell the story of Jesus’ touch. The news about Jesus spreads, as He anticipated and crowds begin to follow Him seeking their own healing or for those they loved. Jesus, not seeking this kind of fame withdraws to a secluded place to pray.
Luke often mentions Jesus withdrawing and praying, long before He teaches his disciples how to pray with words He teaches them to pray. Jesus always acts in a manner that gives good witness, and praying alone is another example. We should withdraw and pray quietly as Jesus does.
Where is your secluded place? When do you pray?Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray with words but first He teaches them to pray. Jesus always acts in a manner that gives good witness, and praying alone is another example. We should withdraw and pray quietly as Jesus does. Click To Tweet
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