The Healer Behind the Healing – Matthew 8: 1-4

Matthew 8:1-4

[1] When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
[2] And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
[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. (KJV)

Leprosy, in those days, was a horrible disease not only physically but mentally as well. Lepers were considered to have done evil and this was their punishment. The manner in which leprosy came on their body was misconceived as a symptom of sin in their soul.

The Law of Moses has detailed instructions in place (Leviticus 13, Leviticus 14) regarding the proper ways for the leper to guard against interconnecting with others. Most people (and even the priest’s) treated lepers in a horrible manner. But in his grace and mercy, Jesus treated them with love.

Jesus had just finished his Sermon on the Mount and many who heard it were following Him down the mountain when a man with leprosy came to Jesus, worshipping Him.

The leper understood that Jesus was more than just a healing man. He calls out to Jesus saying “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”. By crying out “Lord”, shows that he had a knowledge that many others were missing.

The leper wanted a healing and knew that Jesus could heal him but he didn’t know if Jesus was willing to heal him. So he asks, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

Jesus was willing to cure him and because of the man’s faith knowing that Jesus had the Godly power and authority to heal, he was healed.

There was no ceremony and no pompous used. Jesus reaches out saying, “I will – be cleansed” and instantly the leper was completely healed.

Many healing’s throughout Jesus’ ministry happened without Jesus touching the person. In this case, I assume that Jesus specifically touched the leper, showing that he has the authority to go above the laws of Moses. Possibly, the touch was to confirm the man’s belief of exactly who Jesus is and the power he possesses.

Jesus tells the man (no longer a leper) not to tell anyone how he was healed.  However; Jesus did instruct him to go to the priest so that the man could obey the rules of the Mosaic laws (Leviticus 14). This shows that Jesus wanted him to get the blessing of health from the priest’s, so that he could go back into the town and back to his family.

During that era, legal steps had to happen in order for the man to receive a public bill of good health or he could not be welcomed back into the fold.

The man needed time to gather the required items for the sacrifices that he must take to the Priest in order to receive a certificate to prove that he was healed.

Jesus wanted the priest’s to hear the man’s own testimony that would give proof to the priest’s that Jesus was indeed the true Messiah.

If the priest’s received the news of the man’s healing from others, before he showed up, the priest’s would have had time to find a reason why they wouldn’t believe him. They might even reject that he had ever been a leper and not given him the certification that he needed in order to receive a public bill of good health.

Heavenly Father

Thank you that you are always aware of everything going on. You knew this leper inside and out, before you ever came face to face.

You allowed him to know who Jesus really is and you allowed him to come forward, knowing, without doubt that Jesus could heal him and then, through his faith, he was healed.

The leper had obviously already heard of Jesus and his healing’s. Possibly, he may have heard Jesus’ voice drifting down the mountains and he took strength in what he heard. Regardless of how; he KNEW who Jesus was he had no doubt at all that Jesus could heal him.

Before that day, the leper had probably endured the ailment for a very long time and was always trying to think of ways he could rid himself of the disease and the loneliness of not being with his family.

Quite often, when I am in a tough place, I may try to fix the problems myself, when really I should be turning them over to you. Whether I need hope or a blessing, whether healing or forgiveness, whether I need to stop fearing or need to learn love and patience, you are always willing to help me.

And, unlike the leper, who had to wait, hoping for Jesus to come his way, I am blessed to have access to the Holy Spirit and Jesus and you Father, continuously.

Thank you Lord that through this story of the leper, I am once again reminded that love and faith hold an important part in who I am, in how I live and how people may or may not see Jesus’ effect on my life.

I am very blessed to be your daughter and I pray that I always show others how wonderful it is to live for you everyday.

In Jesus’ precious name I pray,

Amen

We Are Never Alone – John 14: 26-27

John 14:26-27

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

During his 3 year ministry, Jesus taught the disciples everything they needed to know, to continue building the church after his crucifixion.

Following his resurrection, Jesus spends a little more time with the apostles; and then announces that he must leave the earth to go back to his Father. He assures them they will not be alone; that God will send them, in Jesus’ name, a helper (the Holy Spirit) that will be much like Jesus himself.

Jesus says that The Holy Spirit will remind them of the things that he said while on earth and he will teach them what they need to know. The Holy Spirit arrived, and empowered the apostles, just as Jesus said he would.

Still today, the Holy Spirit, is living in Christians, leading us, guiding us, helping us, nudging us and keeping us in line with God’s Word.

In those days, “Peace I leave with you” was a Jewish salutation. Many could have thought Jesus was giving them a greeting or benediction, but he wasn’t. Jesus was giving the apostles the “peace that passes understanding”. The peace that Jesus blessed the apostles with was also meant for all of God’s children, throughout the generations to come.

Christians WILL go through trials and tribulations like every other man on earth (even as the disciples/apostles did). However with the Holy Spirit living within us, we (believers in Jesus) have the unique opportunity to stand strong, without worry or fear and to continually maintain deep peace, especially during raging storms. If we stand in faith, the Holy Spirit will help us and secure Jesus’ peace on us.

Divine God,

You are a most loving Father. Not only did you create this world and everything in it, but you sent Jesus to earth for our salvation and to teach us your ways. You sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, to guide us, to lead us and to teach us.

God (the Trinity), you are everything that we will ever need, both now and in the hereafter. I thank you Father for all you do for us on a continual basis and for the love you are never in short supply of.

Too many times, in hard situations, I forget to immediately turn to you. I don’t think to listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading or remember that Jesus is waiting to comfort me with open arms. It is during those times that I feel lost, alone, frightened and will believe (the enemies lies) that everything is too big to handle and then it all starts closing in on me.

But praise be to you God! I suddenly will hear the Holy Spirit’s still voice within me, I will feel Jesus’ arms encircle me and I will know that you Father are sending me love and peace. Then I am reassured, without doubt that you are in charge of everything. It is in those moments that I can take a deep breath, relax and feel peaceful, in spite of what is going on around me.

Someone may ask; how can you relax when everything around you is in turmoil? My answer is that you Lord send me the “Peace that passes understanding”. I sometimes can’t understand how I can have peace during these times, but I do know that you, Father God, have the power to allow me to relax and know, without doubt, that everything will work out as it should.

Thank you Father, for your gift of Jesus, for the gift of the Holy Spirit and for peace. Mostly Lord, I thank you for love; greatest of all gifts!

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray

Amen.

Stir Up the Gift of God- 2 Timothy 1:6-7

2 Timothy 1:6-7

[6] Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
[7] For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)

The Bible tells us that Timothy was a loving, gentle, kind person who was a very good apostle, but he was too timid to stand up to confrontations and was not bold enough in his teaching.

It seems that Timothy was naturally shy and easily discouraged. Paul saw the fear of confrontation was stopping Timothy from completing his task in the way the Lord wanted it done. He knew it was within Timothy to speak out without fear, because he was in a position that God had given him, which required that he stand with boldness and declare the Lord’s message.

God’s fire was smoldering inside Timothy but Paul realized that the flame needed fanning to grow into a roaring fire, enabling him to do the work for Jesus. So Paul laid hands on Timothy and asked for his gifts to grow and to allow Timothy the confidence he needed.

Paul did not stop there. When he was in prison he continued to help Timothy who was in Ephesus. He encourage him by way of letters. In one of those letters, Paul reminded Timothy of when he had laid hands on him and had asked God to strengthen and stir up the flames of Timothy’s gifts. (Scripture above)

2 Timothy 2:1 shows us another. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  These scriptures are only two of the twenty-five times when Paul encouraged Timothy to be bold in the Lord.  Today, many of us are no different than Timothy. Fear can stop us dead in our tracks.

As the Lord’s children, we are all given gifts from God. Sometimes they sit unused because we are fearful to use them. At those times we must remember that like Timothy, we need to stand strong while moving forward to complete our task. Fear is not of God, it is from the enemy!

Heavenly Father

I pray Lord that you would help me to use the wonderful gifts you have blessed me with.

Thank you Father God for making your strength available to me. By putting on the “Armour of God” daily you will give me the strength I need to get through all situations.

I know that fear is not something that you gave us Father. It is something that we encounter along our path in life. The enemy just loves to whisper in our ears and lead us in the wrong direction, making us doubt and worry. But prayer brings peace.

Thank you Father that when I am blinded by satan, my friends can recognize my situation (as Paul did with Timothy) and they encourage and pray for me.

Thank you for giving me the gift of compassion that I can in turn pray for others and help them to stand strong in their times of weakness.

Thank you Father for allowing me to be in a family of Godly friends. May I always be your servant on the lookout for ways to encourage others in their times of need, as Paul did for Timothy.

In the precious and holy name of Jesus Christ, I pray

Amen

Do Not Fear – Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (KJV)

Our Father is telling us not to fear. I don’t think he’s saying this lightly or as a choice. Whenever he says “fear not” in the Bible, he’s making an order, “do NOT fear.”

In this instance, he is also ordering us not even to go as far as being dismayed. Do not lose our enthusiasm or be discouraged.

Because the Lord tells us not to fear or be dismayed, does that mean we can control our emotions and never experience fear? Of course not! We will experience fear because we are human. But we are not to let any kind of worry or fear overcome us. Those are the feelings of the enemy. The Lord wants us, no matter what the situation, to stay positive. To stay bathed in his love and his strength.

Then he goes on to tell us why we are not to be afraid. “For I am with you”. So if we are living a life in Jesus and living according to His Will, and given a promise like that, why should we ever be afraid?

The Lord tells us exactly who He is…God!
In that one word we know who is giving us the promise. The true God, the creator of everything good. The one and the only. The first and the last. The King above all kings. The Alpha and the Omega. The great I AM! He is all those things and much more but the important point he makes in this sentence is that he is “Thy” God!

Our God, is telling us to “fear not”. He’s saying do not be dismayed by what we see, hear, think or feel, for our God, our Father is with us always. He is in control.

He promises that when we turn to him, he will give us the strength to get through all that we need to. He will help us, and will never leave us by ourselves.

He even offers to hold us up with his right hand. In the Bible, the right hand is always seen as an hand of strength. But more than that, God is promising to hold us up with his right hand of righteousness.

God’s righteousness can be called a morally upstanding perfection. He is offering to help us in the most perfect way available. God knows the perfect solution to every situation we go through. So if we think about it, why do we ever fear? We should be relying on God, our wonderful Heavenly Father, all the time, in all situations.

Divine Father,

I am humbled in your presence Lord. I thank you for sending Jesus to this earth so that I can come before you.

Lord I thank you that your Word is true. I thank you that you have promised me, as one of your children, that you will look after me and never to leave me.

Father, I know that when I am in a bad or troublesome situation, you are not always the first I come to. Quite often I will turn to my husband, my children or a friend. Help me Lord to remember, in all times, good and bad, to turn to you first.

Let me have at ready your Words (verses from the Bible) that have been placed in my heart. At a time when I start to become fearful of something, the Holy Spirit will help me to remember those Words of power against the enemy. In turn that will encourage me, and I will be assured, without doubt, that I am not to be afraid no matter what happens.

Does this mean that you will always work things out according to what I deem is the perfect solution? No! But I can be assured whatever the outcome, it will be the absolute perfect solution because it is your work being done.

Sometimes Lord, your solutions seems very wrong. Christians and good or innocent people are hurt horribly everyday. Many must suffer, sometimes their entire lives. It’s a life where you don’t seem to be included. But then the people who we see as bad, appear to be living a perfect life.

It doesn’t make sense to us Father. We know that it’s not our place to judge. We know that the people who are the least here on earth, will have the best in Heaven. We know that everyone will be judged and then the no -believers will see what the life they were living here on earth, will bring them for eternity.

But Lord, sometimes we feel that you don’t care. Even though we don’t understand your ways Lord, help us understand always that you have a purpose. It comes down to this, we can’t understand because we don’t have the whole picture. That’s why we need your strength and your love to help us accept the outcomes of all situations.

I pray that your Will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. I thank you Father for strength and for your love. I thank you Father that I am counted as one of your children. Father please help me, everyday, to “fear not”!

In the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen