The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2515


Jesus Christ has now completed His "Sermon on the Mount" which was an in-depth teaching session attended not by the multitudes, but rather by His disciples only, who went up into the mount to seek Him and "hear the Word of the Lord".You see, it would be His disciples, those disciplined in the knowledge and wisdom of His truth, both then and now in these last days, who would go forth and fulfill the great commission of bringing forth and declaring His righteousness by teaching the truth of His Word.

Now Christ is going to "come down from the mountain" and begin the second period of His ministry, showing that He is Lord by going among the people teaching and healing and casting out evil spirits with His Word (vs. 16). And once again great multitudes will follow Him (Mat. 4:2). However, if you are one of His disciples, one who is disciplined in His Word, you will not only witness the miracles He performs but you will be able to "see" and understand the lessons of those miracles on a different level than the multitudes.

Matthew 8:1
When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.

The first lesson to be learned from the great Teacher concerns the cleansing of a leper which is done for a specific reason made known to us by Christ in verse 4.

[2] And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
The word "behold" lets us know that Christ wants us to carefully consider and understand what this is all about. So let us notice right away that the leper, who was "unclean" according to the law because of his leprosy, came directly to Jesus Christ, bypassing the priesthood, and worshipped Him. That means he revered (loved) the Lord and believed in Him and had the faith to know with certitude that He was able to cleanse him... IF it was His will!

You see, true faith is knowing without a shadow of doubt that Christ is able, that He has all power! That does not mean that He will always answer our prayers and requests according to your will and our desire, because He may have a purpose we have not yet "seen". For example, consider how the apostle Paul, a man of great faith, asked the Lord thrice to have the thorn in his flesh removed. The answer he got from the Lord was "no". 2 Cor. 12:9-10 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strengthis made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

When the apostle Paul was told the reason Father wanted him to endure his infirmity, so that the power of Christ may rest upon him, he was simply overjoyed and was willing to bear anything that came his way.

Now back to the leper who asked to be "cleansed", which is what the subject is here!

[3] And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
[4] And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Christ did not "cleanse" the leper to gain notoriety nor to show the world that He was able to do so.He specifically wanted this to be a message to the priesthood, for a testimony unto them, that they might know that Christ was among them and that He cleanses those who come directly to Him. You see, Christ will pay the price and shed His blood that whosoever will come to Him in belief that He is able to cleanse them, will be cleansed by that blood and set free from the penalty of death. That is why He wanted the leper to go to the priest and have him offer the gift that Moses commanded... for it would be a testimony unto them.Perhaps if we cover what the gift, the sacrifice required by the law, is... it will help in understanding the testimony that the cleansed leper gave. We find it in the 14th chapter of the Book of Leviticus:
Leviticus 14:3-7
And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;

[4] Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

[5] And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

[6] As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:

[7] And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

The priests do not have the power to heal nor to cleanse. And so it is today that one does not need to seek some priest or minister or "faith healer" to be cleansed. Just go directly to Jesus Christ and ask in belief, knowing that He is able, and He will cleanse you.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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