43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
Jesus tells this man to go and present the offerings and all that he was when a leper was healed. You can read about this in Leviticus 14.
But notice why he tells him to go: “for a proof to them.” The NIV uses the word, “testimony.” The Greek word is marturion, or from the same word we see in Acts 1:8 about being witnesses. It’s where we get the word martyr, also. Jesus wants a witness to the priests. The really hard ones who resist him and challenge him and eventually see him put to death. Jesus wants a witness to them.
The man did not do it. What difference might this have made if he had?
He was happy to be healed, but at this time there was a prescribed way for a healed leper to proceed:
Leviticus 14:1-8a esv: “14 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest: 3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them. If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease, 4 the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed. 5 Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. 6 He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. 7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the defiling disease, and then pronounce them clean. After that, he is to release the live bird in the open fields. 8 “The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and…”
Imagine the way this man could have explained how he was healed. And that Jesus sent the man for the proper rituals. The priest would have seem him honoring the law. But because the man disobeyed this opportunity was lost.
- Do you look for the opportunities that life’s situations bring to testify of God’s goodness and mercy to you personally?
- Do you realize God knows what different people need to see or hear to help them believe?