Jesus taught like the Son of God and Messiah, now He’s acting like the Son of God and Messiah, giving people a tiny taste of what it will be like in Heaven when there is no sickness or death.
- V1 – The “great crowds” that started following Him in 4:25 are still with Him.
- V2 – Matthew used the word “behold” in chapter 4 like “check it out.” This is another notable moment.
- V2 – The leper was telling Jesus “I know you can make me clean if you want to, but I also know you don’t have to.”
◊ Do I have an attitude of entitlement when I ask Jesus to forgive me or do I approach Him with an attitude of humility, knowing He doesn’t have to forgive me but does so out of His extravagant love for me?
- V3 – Touch was an extra special way to heal this man because no one was supposed to a leper. It didn’t make Jesus unclean to touch him because in touching him, he was made clean! I love that Jesus said “I will” – I want to make you clean!
◊ Is there anyone I know that is physically or spiritually repulsive that could use the touch of God’s love in their life?
- One of my study Bibles (in a different section) made an interesting comparison between leprosy and sin. Leprosy was a disease that numbed the skin so they could unknowingly damage or lose chunks of skin, fingers, or toes. Sin numbs our hearts in the same way. It keeps us from being sensitive to God’s touch on our hearts when we’re headed in the wrong direction.
- V4 – “Say nothing to anyone” – There are a few times Jesus says this to people and it seems like He says it in order to avoid people getting the wrong idea about what He had come to do as the Messiah and/or to avoid a mob situation with too many people coming just to see Him do miracles. As a general rule, I don’t think we should keep it to ourselves when Jesus works a miracle in our lives.
- V5 – Jesus is coming back home. Capernaum was where He lived then. (4:13) The centurion is a Roman with high authority. He was probably used to always getting his way, especially from the Jews.
- V6 – He was kind to care about and seek out help for his servant.
- V8-9 – As a person in authority, he understood how authority works and he also knew that Jesus had far more authority than he. (“I’m not worthy” – not many people said that to Jesus. So far, John the B is the only other one.)
◊ Do I credit Jesus with the authority and respect He deserves?
- V10 – Jesus is surprised at how well this “outsider” understands who He is.
◊ This is a good reminder that God can move in anyone’s heart and sometimes “outsiders” have very important insights about God and His character.
- V11 – He drops a huge surprise on the Jews here. The kingdom of God is not just for Jews; it’s open to everyone now. In fact, many of the Jews may miss out on the kingdom, even though they were “born into” it as Israelites.
◊ Do I have true faith in God or do I ride along on my parent’s – or someone else’s – faith, going through the motions, but not engaging in my own relationship with God?
- V13 – He doesn’t really give anyone time to chew on what He just said before He sends the centurion off with the words “Let it be done for you as you have believed.” Now there’s a lesson in faith!
◊ Do I limit Jesus’ work in my life by what I believe (or don’t believe) He’s capable of?
- V14-15 – This one cracks me up a little. I can just imagine this lady popping up from her deathbed and starting to get dinner ready for the guests. Maybe Jesus was slightly motivated by the alternative of dinner cooked by Peter.
◊ Am I eagerly serving Jesus now that He has healed me?
- V16 – When Luke tells this story he adds that it was the Sabbath so that’s why people waited until the evening to bring Him their sick friends and family. Instead of insisting that everyone leave so He could get some sleep, Jesus takes the time to heal them all.
◊ Am I generous with my time to others? On the other hand, Jesus knew His time on earth was limited and He didn’t have a wife and kids to care for, so He had room to be much more flexible with His personal boundaries. …There’s a balance I need to find…
- V15-16 – Jesus heals people with a touch, a word, a remote assurance…There seems to be no “formula” for healing. It is the work of God.
- V17 – Matthew includes another prophecy to further verify that Jesus is the Messiah.
- From the very least Jew, to a very important Gentile, to His buddy’s MIL, Jesus shows compassion on everyone.
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?