I have benefited from, Alan Kearns, a brother in Christ who authors Devotional Treasures. I’ve profited as he shares wisdom, knowledge, and insight to passages of scripture each day. If you are seeking a solid biblical supplement for your Bible study time, I highly recommend checking out his blog. Plus, he features stunning photography from Scotland, the part of God’s grand creation where he lives.
Sometime last year, Alan wrote a series titled Encounters with the Messiah. This was a very riveting series covering stories many of us are familiar with. He shared them with a fresh perspective and new insight, revealing things about the people involved and the culture of the time.
In Matthew 8:1-4, Jesus heals a leper, then compels this man to keep quiet about the wondrous miracle he had just experienced. Jesus tells him to go present himself to the priest. Alan speculated that Jesus’ instructions were implying this man was to waste no time talking about it rather to make haste to get to the temple and give his offering as testimony of his healing.
I found the “make haste” so profound in my spirit. It is an idea I don’t recall having heard before. I’ve mulled this over often, since reading it. I imagine a man overjoyed by being cleansed, thrilled that Jesus touched him and he’s to keep silent. What… really, how is someone to not talk about the best thing that ever happened to them? I can feel my insides about to burst as I think of being in that man’s spot.
That episode was published in October and can be read here: Encounters with the Messiah – The Leper with Faith.
Present an Offering
I’m wired, by the Creator, for detail. Thus, a seemingly insignificant observation was huge to me. It stirred my thoughts. We are now the temple; His spirit resides in me and every other believer. Jesus is my High Priest. Do I make haste to give an offering when appropriate? Am I quick to give an offering of thanksgiving, praise, presence, undivided attention, sacrificial gift, or other? These were the reflections that came to mind, details for examining myself.
Tell No One
Researching, I found there are many incidents when Jesus commanded people not to tell anyone of a healing or about who He was. Here are a few others:
• Jesus heals two blind men. “And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows about this!’” (Matthew 9:30, NASB).
• Jesus heals people on the Sabbath. “Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was” (Matthew 12:15b-16, NASB).
• Peter acknowledges who Christ is. “Then He [Jesus] gave the disciples strict orders that they were to tell no one that He was the Christ” (Matthew 16:20, NASB).
I found most commentaries concluding that Jesus’ insistence on keeping people quiet was for crowd control and the Father’s timing of revealing Jesus as Messiah. “Jesus did not wish to stir up the popular, but mistaken, expectations that a wonder-working Messiah would soon arise as king of the Jews and deliver them from the Roman yoke.”1
Am I debunking my brother Alan’s shared thoughts? No, absolutely not. In the context of his writing, there are details he surmised by reasonable deduction of the given scriptural text, the culture, and understanding mankind. It’s possible that the commentaries and Alan’s statement are both correct. Jesus would know our human weaknesses to delay or become distracted from the task in excitement. Therefore, it is reasonable to think Jesus may have prompted the leper to make haste, quickly go take care of his offering.
Have you ever let excitement, discouragement, or life distractions delay going to Jesus our High Priest? Do you make haste to give the appropriate offering?
Father God, You are so worthy of me coming to You quickly with offerings of praise and adoration. Thank You for preserving the Holy Texts through all time. I am grateful to be able to read the things You did and said while physically on earth. Thank You for making me the temple where Your spirit now resides. Thank You for giving me brothers and sisters, in Your family, to learn from. Keep me humble as You provide opportunities to encourage one another, pray for one another, and spur one another on towards serving You with love. Amen.
- NIV Study Bible. Edited by Kenneth L. Barker et al., Zondervan, 2008.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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Image Christ curing the lepers / Ain mantoua, 1608. Public domain. Picryl.com