"Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." (Matthew 8:2-24, NKJV)
What did the HS impress on me?
Once again, I am impressed with the fact that this leper missed the spiritual implications having been preoccupied with the physical realm.
My thoughts about the HS's impressions?
He saw Jesus as a miracle worker and not as a savior. He sought to be healed physically and there is no reference to a desire for spiritual healing or salvation. He wanted to be cleansed from this horrible disease. After all, it was painfully life-threatening, it rendered him an outcast separating him from family and friends, and made him unclean, unable to worship the God of Israel.
Further evidence of this lies in the fact that:
- He did not mention anything about redemption or salvation in his plea
- He did not project any concern for the regulations in the law
- He did not obey Christ implying that he was not spiritually healed
We have to be careful how we present Christ; most people want to focus or fixate on physical or material things rather than the spiritual truths and principles surrounding and under girding salvation. It comes down to motivation.
There is no doubt that we want to see people motivated for salvation. If we offer the resulting perks and privileges as the motivation for salvation, it is quite possible that they will miss the real reason for salvation. Of course the real reason to be saved is centers on the fact that mankind are sinners who have offended and violated the standards of a holy God.
So, we learn from the leper that not all encounters or experiences with Jesus result in salvation. We learn that presenting the gospel and spiritual blessings or benefits must be handled carefully. Or we can end up with a lot of people who rejoice about benefits without the transforming power of God in their lives.