Friday, January 18   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?



Will Graham

Ssshhh Don’t Tell Anyone

A closer look at Matthew 8:1-4.

FRESH BREEZE AUTHOR Will Graham 29 JULY 2017 10:00 h GMT+1

Jesus’ healing of the leper in Mathew 8:1-4 has always been an astounding passage of Scripture.

Over the years it has spoken to me time and time again. But something new hit home with me today that I hadn’t noticed before. If you’ve got a spare moment or two I’d like to share it with you.

The kind of things that had caught my attention in previous readings of these verses were, first and foremost, the bare truth that Jesus physically healed a leper. That fact –in and of itself- is breathtaking. 

Jesus of Nazareth healed real life people. It wasn’t a metaphorical or a symbolical healing. “Oh, you know, the story is a mere myth that means Jesus touched the old leper’s heart! Blessed be God!” No, sir! Jesus healed the leper’s body. It was a bodily healing. That’s right. A sweaty, pus-plagued and leprous body!

A second thing that struck me was how Matthew stresses that Jesus actually ‘touched’ the leper. That’s right, he physically touched him. Wow! Not a bit of wonder this episode was recorded in the Gospels. Who on earth would ever dream of touching a leper?

Back in those days having leprosy was a modern day death sentence. In fact, it was so dangerous and contagious that a whole house was to be declared ‘unclean’ if a leper came into contact with it.

That’s why they were isolated and sent off to leper communities on the outskirts of town. It was one of those diseases that just jumped from one person to another. Some people in our days would have bother touching HIV-infected folk; but Jesus wouldn’t. He touched the outcasts. Amazing stuff!

The third thing that made my brain noodles buzz with joy is to see Jesus’ power on display. Anyone can touch a terminally sick person with compassion. We’ve all done so. We’ve watched loved ones and friends die in hospitals whilst looking on powerlessly.

But Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One of God. Not only did He desire the leper to be cleansed, but He had power to do so: “Be thou clean!” At His divine command, the leprosy dissolved into nothingness.

Nothing –not even terminal illnesses- can resist the power of the Jesus’ words. In some way, this is a foreshadowing of what we will experience in our resurrected bodies. Restored to health! Full of vitality! Fresh and ready to die no more!

So what is it I learned today?

It was the part where He said: “See thou tell no man” (v. 4). Or as we’d say back home in Ireland, “Keep your gob shut!” Jesus commanded the man not to say a word about the healing.

Why is that surprising?

Well, put a contemporary celebrity evangelist in Jesus’ place. He’s just delivered a man afflicted by a hellish infirmity. What would happen next? Why, the evangelist would say to the man, “Go call the New York Times and Forbes Magazine! Go get CNN and Fox News! And tell the whole Christian world –Pentecostals, Baptists and even the Catholics and the liberals- that I healed you! Yes, sir! I am anointed!”

The next step would be to write a book upon Seven Steps on How to Heal the Sick and then spend the following decade flying around the world in his private jet giving healing conferences raking in millions of dollars in the process.

Not so, with Jesus, my dear reader. Not so. He merely speaks thus: “Show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a testimony unto them” (v.4). 

In the midst of the high pitched emotionalism and sensationalism surrounding His act of healing, Jesus pointed the leper to Scripture. “Do what Moses said!” Fascinating!

He kept things in focus. What matters is the Word of God. Signs and wonders are great, you bet your bottom dollar they are, but the foundation of everything must be the revelation of God.

That’s all for now, folks! I’m off to do some cleaning. But sshhh! See thou tell no man!

I wonder what I’ll learn the next time I read Matthew 8… Any thoughts?




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - - Ssshhh Don’t Tell Anyone
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis

Jerry Root compares the search for meaning of C.S. Lewis with Saint Augustine's reflections.

The reliability of the Bible The reliability of the Bible

Jim Cecy, Senior Pastor, Campus Bible Church, answers the question Why is a defense of the reliability of the Bible important?

Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

That night That night

“No one came ot help that night, no nurse to numb the fright...”

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.