For August 25, 2021 Live@5

Matthew 8:1–13 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16, 7:1-10)

8:1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Jesus encounter with a leper here is one of a few recorded in the New Testament.  Jesus never shied away from someone in need, even an unclean person like a leper.  He was willing to heal: “I am willing; be cleansed.”  Jesus went beyond the safeguards and restrictions of the day to do the miraculous.  

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Jesus then encountered a centurion, another unclean person, since he was a Gentile.  He asked Jesus to heal hid servant, who was paralyzed.  He realized his station, that he was not considered worthy of this request, not even that Jesus should come under his roof.  But the centurion understood authority, and knew that his servant’s best chance for healing came from this man who had authority, and could simply speak the Word and it would be done.  Jesus responded to his faith and his servant was healed.  

Jesus also said that the sons of the kingdom, Jews by birth, will be cast into outer darkness, and that others will sit with the patriarchs in heaven.  While this is not an indictment of the entire nation, it is an indictment of those who may reject Christ, and especially those who do not have faith.  Believe, and you will receive the care and blessings of God.  Do not let you lowly station in life prevent you from faith.  And do not let your high station in life make you think that faith is optional.  Without faith, you cannot please God!

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