And behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean!” – Matthew 8:1-3
Scripture reading: Leviticus 13:1-8
Jesus came to deliver us from sin and death, to restore life to us, the new life that will end in eternal life. That’s what He proclaimed in His preaching and manifested in His healing. If there was one disease that projected the power of death and held the verdict of death, it was leprosy. This disease showed itself by turning the skin white, making the sufferer look like a corpse. God hated death and by this disease showed the reality of death. Hence, Jesus Who came to deliver from sin and death used this opportunity to show Himself the Redeemer and King over death!
Lepers could no longer be among the community of people; outside the camp, they had to wander around finding a place to stay and food to eat. When people approached them, they had to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” Healing a leper, therefore, was like calling someone back from death. The leper in this passage knew Jesus and believed that He could heal him; that He had power over life and death. He desired to live again among the people and in communion with God. Then Jesus defied the powers of sin and death and touched this leper. He wants to heal the man and deliver him from the powers of death. “I will; be clean!” He said. His Word is powerful and effective, conquering death in this man. His Word and Spirit are still powerful and effective, saving those who believe in Him from sin and death! His Word is life and gives life eternally!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray the Lord for His compassion and care in times of illness, dealing with a chronic disease (or for loved ones, a fellow-member). Ask God for comfort and hope with a view to eternal healing.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.