Call 127: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah – 382: Have Thine Own Way, Lord – 427: Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life – 479: Jesus, Lover of My Soul – 301: Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
40 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, 44 saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
You just found gas for $1.49/gal. don’t tell us where it is.
You are having a baby, but don’t tell anyone.
You just won a brand new car, don’t show it to anyone.
Your mortgage has just been forgiven, keep quiet the news.
Your scans came back Cancer free, don’t celebrate
Jesus heals a man from the disease of leprosy and gives him a stern warning to tell no one, but go to the priest, to be declared restored.
Why might Jesus warn this man so sternly to say nothing..?
For years I have heard others say: it was reverse psychology that if you tell someone to keep a secrete you can count on them telling anyone and everyone..
Especially when it is such a transformational healing and restoring into the community.
To have leprosy is to have a painful, contagious and lonely condition as you would be forced to leave your family and possessions and beg outside the city gates until you died or got better.
When you learn to swim, I will let you go to the pool.
Study of the traditions, it was important to the faith community since the time of Moses to allow the priest to be the guardian of the community to open or close the doors of inclusion or exclusion for the safety and strength of the community.
Cleanliness laws keep infectious diseases from infesting
Cleanliness food laws keep bodies healthier
Cleanliness rituals were for safety and identity.
Jesus wants to insure that this man is included in the community, restored not only in health, but to his family, work, part in the community.
What does it mean to come back home from the far country for the prodigal son? Signet ring, Coat of Arms, and Reception Celebration… What did he have to do to be restored?
The man, filled with Joy, lost his social filter and blurted it out! so that Jesus could no long go from town to town openly..
SO WHAT: Don’t miss the plot for the special effect.
2 Kings 5:1-14
5:1 Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.
5:2 Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 5:3 She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
5:4 So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5:5 And the king of Aram said, “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.” He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments.
5:6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 5:7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”
5:8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.”
5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 5:10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.”
5:11 But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!
5:12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage.
5:13 But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
5:14 So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.