Revelation and Understanding

“And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Matthew 8:2 NKJV

Today we read about healings from stories we have passed down to our children and tirelessly extract everything we can about the nature of God and healings from. They are familiar to most of us (if not, read them and enjoy – they are fantastic).  Jesus healed, then and He still does! So why didn’t I title today’s post with something about healing?

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapters 8, verses 1-13, and from the book of Luke, chapter 7 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

Cleansing the Leper – (Matt 8:1-4) This is a short and fantastic moment in Jesus’s ministry. It is significant for many reasons. First because Jesus healed him – every healing was significant, especially the ones recorded. After he was healed, Jesus told Him to go show the priests (become clean according to the Jewish custom so he can go home. Jesus also told him not to tell anyone Jesus healed him.
I know that when I experienced Jesus – I became compelled to share. I am sure this man’s experience left him with the same compulsion. But I am under the great commission and I am told to share. He was told NOT to. This man appears again in Jesus’s ministry – his disobedience was used to stir strife against Jesus. Last week we discussed one man’s suffering and how it contributed to the glory and grace of the cross.  Today, we have a disobedient man and his contribution compounded and confused.  There is no clean line between this man and the cross.
A Christian with good intension but disobedient will do more harm to a ministry than help. Don’t come for what you can get then run around mucking things up. Don’t start off right (worshiping, and therefore with a revelation of who Christ is) then become someone working against God.

So – let us talk about this revelation. The revelation that made this man come worshiping. He knew he could be healed – and he came worshiping. This is important. Did you go to church this week and come worshiping? Do you go into prayer worshiping? Is this a point we actually have to discuss because it isn’t natural and automatically practiced?!? Why do we, global modern human in a generalized group, fail to be compelled to approach Jesus and God in worship?

Let us talk about revelation and understanding.

This leper knew this was God in the flesh – how? His spirit recognized, his soul bore witness, and besides hearing rumors of what he can do, his faith lead to the experience of revelation.  The revelation of who God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is more valuable and important than the healing in every case today! It is that experience that the healing follows. As we read a few month ago – “these signs” including healing “will follow those who believe”. How do we believe? It is revealed to us. How is it revealed – Jesus helps us understand.

In the modern church many go for prayer for the same healing and never see it manifest – some blame their amount of faith or their understanding.  What if we WERE understanding it wrong? What if it needs a slight shift? The healing follows the revelation (it is MORE and different than our modern faith and belief).  Revelation is a better word because yes I believe but in what do I believe – do I have the revelation to believe the way I need to?

Jesus heals a Centurion’s servant and says he has such faith – what he has is a different understanding of who Christ is. How authority and power and majesty work in a humble human form – and God is revealing it to us through this passage. The centurion knew Christ as completely God even though He was completely man. He had a revelation that others had not yet reasoned out because of his understanding of authority. But we have this Centurion’s experience to learn from.

Then as Jesus continues to try to give us the revelation we need of who He is (inspired through Luke’s writing) Jesus raises the son of the Widow of Nain.  This story does not directly speak of anyone’s faith or revelation but it reveals a level of compassion and Deity we can learn from.  This widow was about to become the lowest position in the city – without provisions. His word says HE WILL PROVIDE ALL OUR NEEDS.  By raising the son, the woman was no longer doomed to be destitute.   

Next is the passage regarding John the Baptist sending his troops to Jesus.  Many have interpreted this in many ways – and many as a justification for doubting.  Let us not interpret – but understand who that is written to and the cultural significance.  Because this passage is about imparting revelation of who Christ is!!! 
Now John was Jesus’s cousin. He grew up knowing who Jesus was – he baptized Him and saw the heavens open and heard the voice from the sky declare who Jesus is. Do you really think he is locked in jail doubting? Shake that off and understand parables. The Jewish people culturally understood parables and seeing how things playout. For example, when they ask a question it is common to be answered in a series of questions. They use the big picture.  So John’s student would benefit from seeing Jesus for themselves.
More importantly, since John was in jail and knew he wasn’t being released any time soon – he needed his disciple to answer the question for themselves – Is Jesus the Messiah? This passage is written in a way to cause the reader to ask then see the answer of that very question.  This has nothing to do with John’s understanding and revelation of Christ (we saw that earlier) – but this is here for us to learn more and have revelation of who Jesus is.  Stop looking at John and start looking at Jesus!

And finally we have the story of the sinful woman washing the feet of Jesus and anointing them. Jesus all but says that this woman has a greater revelation of who he is and the Pharisee’s understanding of who Jesus is.

Today isn’t about the healing – it is about the healer. Lord give us revelation!
do you recall Isaiah’s undoneness when he was in the presence of God in his dream? Or Daniel, or Ezekiel, or Elijah or…. Or this sinful woman. Is it only that her sins were great? I say no. because others with great sin did not fall at his feet and weep.  The conversation happening about her sin was to convict the self-righteous Pharisee of his lack of revelation.  And as for the woman – she was not just seeing Jesus – she was worshiping and becoming unraveled by all of who He is – The one true living God.

We need that level of revelation in our daily lives at this point in history. Will we survive the perilous times to come if we struggle now in the not so perilous, yet still perilous times in which we live?  We need the revelation of Christ to reveal the lies, the enemies, and to reveal our way.

We often talk about the light:

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

But what we sometimes fail to let be revealed to us is the deeper understanding and the meat of this light – it is the revelation and understanding of Christ!!! It is the revelation that does all the things that the light does. So today’s reading is very important because in each moment, we learn more about Jesus and about revelation and back to the beginning of today’s reading – that if we start off good disobedience can train wreck a large chunk of it. Jesus reveals Himself – we do not. Even if we tell everyone who He is it is Jesus who reveals Himself.

Jesus, please reveal yourself to the readers today that they may get to know you and draw closer to you. Continue to reveal yourself to me daily and please, please, please reveal yourself to our unsaved, unchurched, and ungodly love ones.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! These memory verses were selected, last year for this year.  As many of you tell me of the great attacks on your lives – the timing is perfect! But of course it is, it is God!

Deuteronomy 28:7

NKJV – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
NAS – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways.”
ESV – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
AMP – “The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way, but flee before you seven ways.”
NIV – “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus! 

BIBLE READING: Matthew 8:1-13 & Luke 7 NKJV

Matthew 8:1-13

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

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.

And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Luke 7

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well [a]who had been sick.

Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain

11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

16 Then fear [b]came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.” 17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus

18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to [c]Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or [d]do we look for another?”

20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of [e]infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not [f]offended because of Me.”

24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’

28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is [g]not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors [h]justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and [i]lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

31 [j]And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
And you did not weep.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [k]winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

So he said, “Teacher, say it.”

41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”

And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 7:10 NU omits who had been sick
  2. Luke 7:16 seized them all
  3. Luke 7:19 NU the Lord
  4. Luke 7:19 should we expect
  5. Luke 7:21 illnesses
  6. Luke 7:23 caused to stumble
  7. Luke 7:28 NU none greater than John;
  8. Luke 7:29 declared the righteousness of
  9. Luke 7:30 the experts in the law
  10. Luke 7:31 NU, M omit And the Lord said
  11. Luke 7:34 An excessive drinker

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