Matthew 8:1-5
Mat 8:1 (KJB)
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
In chapters 8 and 9, there are ten miracles recorded. Jesus just finished speaking about the Kingdom of God but now He will show the kingdom of God and its attributes in these miracles. The miracles were not performed perfunctorily, but they had a purpose to them because each of them showed an aspect of salvation. After Jesus finished speaking and came down from the mountain or hillside that He was on, a great multitude of people had followed Him. They were not prepared yet to leave Him as they were still in astonishment concerning His teachings.
Mat 8:2 (KJB)
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
In the Bible, leprosy represents sin because it starts out very small and unnoticed and then continues to grow in the body and then eventually it manifests itself outwardly just as sin does. Sin starts in the heart and soon it manifests its lustful desires until it completely takes over the body and it is permeated with sinful desires which the body eventually acts upon. When Jesus came down, a leper approached Him and was worshipping Him. He beseeched Jesus that if it would be His will, that He could make Him clean. If you notice the word that the leper used, “canst” which would be our word “can.” The word “can” is a word of ability. This leper knew that Jesus had the ability to heal but the leper asked Jesus if it was His will to heal him. God has the ability to heal and that goes without saying, but if a healing is not in His will for a person, then He will not heal them but He does not leave them alone because in the sickness or disability, God will strengthen His children to make it through.
Mat 8:3 (KJB)
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Jesus then realizes the faith of the leper, so He puts forth His hand and touches the leper, which under the law was forbidden, and heals him. The healing took place immediately. This represents what a person experiences when they become a Christian. A person has all their sins weighing them down, then the Lord Jesus Christ saves them and in an instant, He removes all their sins from them, thus removing the weight of guilt, shame, and condemnation. (Psa 103:12 KJV) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 states the He removed our sins not covered them or made them white as snow as some misinterpret Isaiah 1:18. (Isa 1:18 KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. What God is speaking about here is the mushrooming effect of leprosy, it starts out small as red spots but then as it grows and infects the whole body, it turns it white as snow. This would be a total contradiction in the Scriptures if on the one hand God makes our sins white from red and then in other passages it states He removed them. (Col 2:13-14 KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; {14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Both Psalm 103:12 and Colossians 2:13-14 state unequivocally that God removes our sins and does not cover them by making them white as many believe. Once the sin is removed, then we are clean according to biblical standards.
Mat 8:4 (KJB)
And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Since Jesus was in Galilee and this man was healed in Galilee, Jesus now instructs this man to go to the priest for the required examination to verify his healing from the leprosy and to make the appropriate sacrifice. (Leviticus 14) The place where he was to have this done would have been in Jerusalem at the temple, which would have been a journey south of where he was. Now it seems strange that Jesus would tell this man not to say anything about it because He would have done this miracle of cleansing publicly in the sight of many of those who listened to His sermon. He was commanded not to say anything because it was not His time yet and He did not want to draw any attention to Himself before the appointed time. When one looks at Leviticus 14, we read the cleansed leper was to shave all the body hair and wash their clothes and body in fresh water. What a tremendous picture of what happens to the believer when they become saved, every vestige of sin is removed from us plus we are to remove anything which brings back memories of the old life. As the cleansed leper now begins his new life after his cleansing, the believer also begins their new life at the moment of salvation. I feel sorry for those that believe we can not learn anything of value for today from Leviticus.
Mat 8:5 (KJB)
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
Capernaum was on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. When He entered the city a centurion approached Him. A centurion was in charge of hundred soldiers. He probably belonged to the army of Herod Antipas because there are no extant Roman records of an army being stationed in Galilee before 44 A.D. It would not fit if they were just passing through because the centurion had a home there and if they were just marching through, he would not put down any local roots. This centurion no doubt had personally heard the sermon or had his people there to see if it was sedition being preached or something else. The word “beseeching” carries with it the idea of “pleading or calling for” with another meaning of “encouragement.” So this centurion went to Jesus with an encouraging desire not one of defeat or sorrow.