“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. 5Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) 6He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.“ (Ephesians 1:4-6, MSG)
Long before the first pronouncement came from the mouth of God that “let there be light”, God already had a plan for mankind—those that are in the Jesus family.
He had it all planned out that they will be able to function in the deepest heaven and on planet earth. They will be abundantly free and glorious living would be their portion. The good news today is that God had it all designed—your destiny is greatness. It may not look like it but if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.
“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. “ (Matthew 8:1-3, NKJV)
In the olden days, lepers were required to live outside the camp or city (Num. 5:1-4; 12:10-15, etc.). It was a commandment handed down from the Lord through Moses to the Israelites. A shocking aspect of the commandment is that the Israelites actually hearkened without any complaint. You find out that in life, people readily obey instructions that has to do with class, segregation or superiority. Any instruction that seeks to enhance position, status, power or authority is readily carried out. When people are able to “lord” it over others, demean them, look down with pity on them, such is readily acceptable. There is a feeling of smug satisfaction that I am still better than this individual, I won’t love him to contaminate me. E.g. John 8:1-11 (woman caught in adultery).
“This disease was regarded as a curse (2 Kings 5:27; 2 Chr. 26:19 – 21). “In Christ’s day, under the levitical laws (Leviticus 13:45-46) a leper was required to have his outer garment rent as a sign of deep grief, to go bareheaded, and to cover his beard with his mantle, as if in lamentation at his own virtual death.” He had further to warn passers-by to keep away from him, by calling out, ‘Unclean! unclean!’ nor could he speak to anyone, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involves an embrace. A leper was an outcast, forsaken and downtrodden.
Lots of monumental traditional hurdles were staring this man in the face. He was not expected to speak but when he saw Jesus he said shyly without conviction or confidence that if Jesus wants to he can make him clean. He spoke quietly because he did not want anybody else to hear him speaking as this may result in an untimely death. This statement also shows that the man knew that Jesus has the power but it is not likely that he will use the power on him. It is important that we understand the mindset of this man.
He had been rebuffed and ridiculed and ultimately turned to a no class citizen. His opinion did not matter. He was an outcast a persona non grata (an undesirable element). He was looked at with suspicion. He did not know what love is because nobody dared embrace him. He was a loner. He had been abandoned by family and friends. If he ever had any. A whole lot of us are not lepers physically but we are experiencing the symptoms of leprosy.
We cannot cry out with confidence just like the leper because some of the things we are experiencing we believe we have brought it on ourselves or we have been born into the family of leprosy. It shows in our prayers. We are unable to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy. Our minds always go back to our past. We have become enslaved by our past. Every time we say a word of prayer, satan screams unclean into our minds by reason of our past.
Another interesting feature of the above story is that Jesus could have said be healed.
Psalm 107: 20 He spoke, and they were healed–snatched from the door of death.
When the disciples were faced with the stormy sea, all Jesus did was to rebuke the wind and there was peace but Jesus did the extra in the case of this man. He spoke and also touched. Jesus made a contact with the man. A connection between two conductors was established and current flowed. Note the term a connection between two conductors. Jesus is established as a conductor and there is power in Him—All power is given unto me…” the leper despite his situation was a conductor also and the current of healing flowed.
Jesus might not be here in the physical but His word is alive, it is quick and even sharper than any two edged sword. You are also in a designated place for wholeness—mount Zion. Are you a conductor? If you are , then receive your greatness now. Everything working against your greatness is cursed today in the mighty name of Jesus.