Sickness Is A Thief

And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Matthew 8:13

Did you notice that the leper did not seem to question Jesus’ ability to heal him? He seemed to be convinced that Jesus could heal him but appears to have unsure about Jesus’ willingness to heal him.

Over the last three posts we have read references in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that discussed the leper’s healing. In each we see that Jesus’ response was “I will”.

Leprosy is an awful disease. Leviticus 13 and 14 discuss how Israel was to handle a person diagnosed with the disease. The sufferer was to be separated from the community. If they lived in a walled city, they would be cast out to live outside the walls by themselves. A leper had to live alone and anyone got within shouting distance they would be expected to shout, “Unclean”. A diagnosis of leprosy was equivalent to a living death. They person could not see their family or friends, work in an occupation, or even go to synagogue.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:1

Jesus told us that He is the good shepherd. A shepherd leads the sheep, feeds the sheep, and protects the sheep.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

Sickness is death manifested in the physical body. Jesus told us that “the thief” is that one who comes to “steal, and to kill, and to destroy”.

I believe that healing is a manifestation of life in the physical body. Jesus came to bring life. I wonder how anyone could ever think that sickness would be something He would put on a person.

Sickness is a thief. It will steal a persons energy, time, and money. There are wives who have had their husbands stolen from them and husbands who have had their wives stolen from them. We have all either me or heard stories of parents that had their children stolen from them by sickness and disease.

God made man in His own likeness and image. Sickness will destroy, twist, and deform the human body. It is beyond me how anyone could believe God is the source of sickness!

Sickness is not, and never will be an improvement on God’s original creation! It entered the world after man fell. Death, depression, sickness, and disease are all the result of man’s sin.

Satan is the author of sickness but there is an answer that can only be found in Jesus.

And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Luke 5:12

Luke tells us that the man was “full of leprosy”. He was in an advanced state of the disease. Leprosy is considered to be incurable. Luke’s description infers that the man had been suffering from the disease for quite awhile. We can only imagine how hopeless his life was.

And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Mark 1:40

The leper came to Jesus. He had probably heard of the miracles occurring in Jesus’ ministry and hoped that one might occur in his life.

Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
2 Kings 20:2-6

Hezekiah was in a similarly hopeless situation. He turned his face to the wall and prayed. This was an act of humility because it required him to turn away from what he was seeing in the natural to look towards God. The king turned away from his advisors and stopped looking at the situation to look to God and had years added to his life.

And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Mark 1:40

The leper approached Jesus and knelt. Kneeling is an act of humility. Pride is one of the greatest enemies of faith. I have seen people in prayer lines who are looking around while waiting to be prayed for. It is obvious that they are concerned about what people might be thinking of them being in the prayer line.

I’ve had people ask me to meet them in a backroom to pray for them. The leper was required to stand at a distance and yell, “Unclean, unclean!” He did not do this but instead approached Jesus in total humility.

The leper was in a hopeless condition. He knelt before Jesus. Our lesson here is that faith is completely dependent on God. It cannot operate separately from His Word. Faith knows that God is its only source.

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