READING: Matthew 8:1-4; 9:1-17; 12:1-21; Mark 1:40-3:21; Luke 5:12-6:19
“I am willing,” he told him. “Be made clean.”
Jesus told the healed leper to go straight to the priest and let the priest declare him clean according to their tradition. Perhaps this strategy of Jesus would allow the priest to learn what He had done, and then the crowds could learn it as well. It didn’t happen in that order, however. Instead, the healed man told everyone: “Yet he went out and began to proclaim it widely and to spread the news, with the result that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly” (Mark 1:45). He told so many people, and so many people wanted to see Jesus that He had to go out to “deserted places.”
We must agree that the man did what Jesus told him not to do; and in that sense, we cannot affirm his actions. On the other hand, surely we can understand his actions. We don’t know what the man had looked like, but it’s likely the skin disease had caused some level of disfigurement. The man would have been unclean in his culture, and the disease was most likely contagious. Nobody, I suspect, wanted to be around him for long.
But then Jesus came along – and when Jesus comes along, everything changes. Jesus ordered the disease to be gone, and the result was obvious: “Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean” (Mark 1:42). The disease disappeared. The man was made whole. His countenance changed. His hope was restored. Life would never be the same. And when all of that happens because of Jesus, how do you not speak about Him?
Do you remember when Jesus was so fresh and alive to you that you could not help but talk about Him?
- Ask God to restore the freshness of your faith in Jesus if you have lost it.
- Like to woman in yesterday’s devotion and the man in today’s, go talk about Jesus.
PRAYER: “Lord, thank You for changing everything in my life.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 5-7, Luke 6:20-49; 11:1-13