And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. – Matt. 8:4 KJV
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Today’s devotional is a continuation of the devotional titled “Live A Power Demonstrating Life” where the leper who was not present during the sermon on the mount was the one that received a miracle healing, just as many are present in church today who may be devoted to church activities and are so recognised by the church leaders and elders, but have nothing to show for their so called dedication to Church. Yes! Dedication to Church and not to Christ. They may even make claims to having being Christians for a while and there is their ability to quote every line of the scriptures off hand and precisely, but just as the Apostle Paul said, the kingdom of God is not in Words but in the demonstration of power – 1Cor. 4:20. The steps taken by the leper which helped him to receive this healing was also discussed in that devotion with a summary of those steps as follows;
- He acknowledged his situation.
- He approached Jesus Christ and not men.
- He avoided distractions that had nothing to do with divine tasks.
- He stated in plain terms what he desired from the Lord.
- He accepted that receiving the healing was subject to the Almighty God willing to do so.
The willingness of God to manifest in a situation and grant the request to heal an ailment, physical or spiritual, which seems to have turned the Christian into a leper amongst family and friends cannot be in doubt. He is always ready through His son, Jesus Christ to save the genuine Christian from life situations that will not glorify His name. Just as He healed the leper, He is also willing to heal many today and He has actually healed many but most people have not been able to manifest their healing long enough for there, to be a testimony. This is because the advise of Jesus Christ to the healed leper is never adhered to and so the healing is lost almost immediately.
On seeing that the leper had been healed, Jesus had advised as follows;
- Do not tell anyone. This is not to say that no one should hear but until the healing was confirmed by the Priest, no one was allowed to pronounce a leper as healed. The Priest it is that will follow specific ordinances to confirm and finally pronounce the person as healed. That the healing took place outside the temple did not matter as the one that claims to be healed would still be expected to report to the Priests for confirmation that such is indeed healed.
- Go show yourself to the Priest. It was not just a case of the one that was healed going to show him/her self but to implement all the prescribed steps as stated in the scriptures to confirm the healing, after which specific sacrifices will then be made to ensure a spiritual cleansing also – Lev. 14:1-32. It is only after this that the person can be pronounced physically and spiritually clean.
- Give the gift prescribed by Moses. By this Jesus implied that the beneficiary of the healing also needed to show gratitude by giving gifts to the Priests, even though in this instance, the miracle was not achieved through the Priest. This also seems to be an ordinance that Moses must have laid down for the Israelites, which is that they must show gratitude for miracles received.
This healing event however contrasts sharply with a similar healing event by Jesus Christ, which on that occasion, involved the healing of ten lepers – Lk. 17:11-19. The ten lepers had approached Jesus, even though they stood at a distance, pleading to be healed with Jesus simply telling them to go and show themselves to the Priest. It was while they were on their way that they received healing but only one of them thought it wise to return to praise God through Jesus Christ. On confirmation that the other nine lepers were also healed but only chose not to come back to give thanks, he put a seal on the healing of the only one that return, declaring him whole due to his faith. His pronouncement seemed to give the impression that the healing of the other nine may not be whole in some way.
Of note in this instance is the fact that Jesus received the thanks that this single leper offered even though the components of the thanks was not disclosed. He had known when to receive thanks and when to direct such thanks to the Priests. One may want to argue that he is also a priest in the order of Melchizedek but this did not stop him from telling the lepers on the two occasions to go and show themselves to the Priest. He probably did not see himself qualified on both occasions to function as a Priest. He was also not qualified to receive the gift on the first occasion but did not reject the gratitude on the second occasion which in itself is some form of gift.
Most times the people that were used to achieve healing or one form of miracle or the other become the obstacle to sustaining the healing or miracle just as they may end up being victims of the same situation that they were used to resolve in a miraculous manner. Without confirming how the gift from the beneficiary of the miracle should be handled, they are quick to demand and accept such gifts and this sometimes creates a reversal of the process. It must be made clear at all times to everyone who has experienced a miraculous intervention that the one behind every Christian miracle is the Almighty God and it is to Him that all gratitude belong. He it is that will also decide who benefits from such displayed gratitude.
Although it was not Naaman that became leprous again after he had been miraculously healed, it was a wrongly received gift that made Gehazi inherit the leprosy of Naaman – 2Kgs. 5:1-27. Elisha on that occasion had questioned the timing of the receipt of the gift from Naaman. That must have been the result of his enquiry from the Lord as to the appropriateness of receiving the gift that Naaman brought. What is clear is that Elisha himself must have been living on gifts to be able to care for the many servants that were under his watch, but was wise enough to reject the gift on this occasion.
There is always an appropriate person, to whom the gift of appreciation for a received miracle, must be given on behalf of the miracle worker who is the Almighty God. Such receives the gift not necessarily because he/she is the one that was used to achieve the miracle but because that is the person designated by the Almighty God to receive such gifts.
Jesus no doubt thrived on gifts, after all there is no record of his ever working or owning a business neither did any of his disciples work but yet, he did not see himself qualified to receive the gift from the first leper. The one that will receive the gift, and the nature of the gift must be according to the decision of the Almighty God for such appreciation to be accepted by Him. An accepted gratitude puts a seal on the miracle received.
Christian leaders must endeavour to avoid being the obstacle to sealing a received miracle by ensuring that the offered gratitude is dispensed in a manner that the one that facilitated the miracle desires. He it is that facilitated the miracle and the gratitude like all other acts of gratitude belong to Him. He is therefore the one to decide how it should be dispensed so that the miracle may receive His seal. To the one that is the beneficiary of the miracle, it should be clear to such that all does not end with the received miracle. There is the need to show gratitude so that the miracle can be permanent. May the miracle of God in our lives remain permanent in Jesus name. Amen.