Luke 5

12 Matthew and Mark both relate this story, but neither name the town in which it happened (Mat 8:1-4, Mark 1:39-45).

Leprosy was a generic term covering a wide range of skin diseases. The Law required that people with such infections were to be kept outside the cities. They were not allowed any interaction with uninfected people.

This desperate and daring man approached Jesus. He was already convinced that Jesus could heal him. However, it appears that he was unsure if Jesus would be willing to do so. Would this holy Man of God cure a man who was outcast from society?

13 Jesus then did something that was completely forbidden -- He touched the leper. The Law is very clear that when a person touches something or someone unclean he becomes unclean as well. However, when God touches someone, that person becomes clean and God Himself remains uncompromised.

Jesus was not only willing to cure the man, but He gave the man a human touch -- something he may not have had for a long time. Jesus' love, compassion, and power made it possible for Him to reach the man on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level.

14 This was a spectacular miracle since there was no known cure for leprosy other than waiting and hoping the disease would go away. Jesus knew that if word of this miracle became widespread that His preaching of the Gospel would be hindered as people desired Him miracles over His Gospel. Jesus did want the man to testify to the priests. The religious leaders were the hardest group for Jesus to reach, and this would be an opportunity to examine the results of Jesus' ministry for themselves. This would also serve as a testimony that Jesus did work within (and fulfilled) the Law of Moses.
15 The cured man, however, was so overjoyed that he could not resist telling everyone about it (Mark 1:45). Though we might see this as excusable, we must remember that the man was disobedient on four counts. One, he was violating the Law by not going though the cleansing ceremony. Two, he did not testify before the priests. Three, his actions caused interference with Jesus' ministry. Four, he disobeyed a direct command of God even after receiving such a great gift.

Our gratitude to God must be displayed in the way God wants. If we continue to do what is "natural" after being blessed by God, then we are being ungrateful to God. An initial step of faith must be followed by continued faith and obedience.

On Jesus' part, He knew what would happen. Nonetheless, He had compassion on the man and healed Him. God did His part, and He expects us to do ours. God does not control us and it is up to us to act in a faithful and obedient manner.

16 The crowds that followed Jesus now became very large. Jesus had to preach in the wilderness to prevent overwhelming the towns (Mark 1:45). Jesus also found it more difficult to find privacy as He communicated to the Father during His quiet times.