Chapter 15.1 “Your Sins Are Forgiven”
Autumn of A.D. 27 to spring of 29 (about a year and a half)
“I Will, Be Clean,” original etching by unknown artist, 19th century
“I Will, Be Clean,” original etching by unknown artist, 19th century (CLICK on the image above for a LARGER version)

Jesus Heals a Leper

In the elaborate Jewish code of defilements leprosy was not only one of “the fathers of uncleanness,” but next to defilement from the dead, stood foremost among them. Wrapped in mourner’s garb, wherever he went the leper was required to announce his presence with the mournful cry of “Unclean, unclean,” a signal for all to draw at least six feet away lest they be contaminated by the dreaded scourge. Lepers could mingle only with their own kind and could not enter the Temple at Jerusalem or any walled city on pain of being lashed. Since all religious authorities admitted to being utterly without power to cure the disease, what help he obtained could come only from God.

One day when Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, a leper approached him. A person with leprosy would always have fled from a rabbi, but not this man. Having heard him teach and seen him heal all manner of illness, he had faith in Christ’s absolute power to heal him. Ignoring the distance requirement, he came and fell at the Master’s feet in lowliest humility, “If only you will, you can make me clean.”

Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. “I will,” he said. “Be clean!”

The leper was shocked that the Rabbi physically touched him, defiling himself according to Jewish tradition. Then suddenly he was filled with great joy, realizing the leprosy had instantly disappeared. He was healed!

Contact with a leper would bring Jesus into confrontation with the Jewish leaders, so he sent him on his way with a stern warning, “Go over to the priest and let him examine you. Do not talk to anyone along the way or tell anyone who healed you. Take along the offering required in the Law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy, so everyone will have proof of your healing.”
The man understood his instructions, for numerous ritual acts were listed in the Torah that had to be carried out to certify the cure. So great was his happiness at being healed, on the way he forgot the Savior’s command and told everyone he met what had happened. News of this miracle spread rapidly, and soon Christ could no longer enter a city openly because of the crowds, and hundreds followed him even into the desert country away from the lake.

Lovett Fine Art

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