Summary: Sixth in a series on the miracles of Jesus, this miracle concerns the healing of a leper in the synagogue.
Miracle # 6
“Jesus Cleanses the Leper”
As we noted in the last lesson early on the morning after Jesus had healed Peter’s Mother-in-law and all the other sick who had been brought to Him; Jesus retired to a quiet place to pray. When Peter and the other disciples quickly set out to find him. As soon as caught up with Him they reported that he was the talk of the neighborhood and Jesus told the disciples that he would not be returning to do more healing but rather he must continue on in order to proclaim his message of salvation.
It is not easy to harmonize all of the gospel accounts of this incident, because there is no direct evidence of the exact order of the events. Each of the gospel narratives must be examined in order to get the complete story of this miracle.
During His preaching tour of the area Jesus met a man suffering from leprosy. Mark does not tell us the exact place that this occurs, while Luke tells states that it happened in one of the towns. Matthew, however tells us that it occurred after Jesus had come down from the mountain on which he had preached His “Sermon on the Mount.”
“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." (41) Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." (42) As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. (43) And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, (44) and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." (45) However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.”
“And it happened when He was in a certain city, that
behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus;
and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying,
"Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."
(13) Then He put out His hand and touched him,
saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the
leprosy left him. (14) And He charged him to tell no
one, "But go and show yourself to the priest, and
make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony
to them, just as Moses commanded." (15) However,
the report went around concerning Him all the more;
and great multitudes came together to hear, and to
be healed by Him of their infirmities. (16) So He
Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and
“When He had come down from the mountain, great
multitudes followed Him. (2) And behold, a leper
came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are
willing, You can make me clean."(3) Then Jesus put
out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing;
be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
(4) 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
The Background Of The Miracle
We are told that man who comes to Jesus for healing is a leper. The word “leprosy” was a term used to describe a wide range of skin diseases. And covered everything from psoriasis and ringworm to true leprosy which is today called “Hanson’s disease.” With the limited knowledge of the day, both curable and incurable diseases were called leprosy. There are three forms of leprosy. First there is nodular or tubercular leprosy. The disease could begin as an unaccountable sluggishness and pain the joints. It begins with little specks on the eyelids and on the palms of the hands. Then it spreads over the whole body. It bleaches the hair white and it covers the skin with scales and oozing sores. Nodules gather on the cheek, nose and forehead. The whole appearance of the face is changed, until the sufferer no longer even appears human.
Second, there is anaesthetic leprosy. The initial stages are the same but in addition there is a lost of feeling in extremities. The victim loses all sense of touch and pain, initially in the fingers and toes, then spreading up the arms and legs. Because of injuries, infections etc. there is a progressive loss of fingers of toes and in the end even the loss of a whole hand or foot.