Levi, son of Alphaeus – better known as Matthew the Levite – tells us at a certain point in his gospel narrative about how Yeshua heals a leper just after finishing his famous speech, the so-called “Sermon on the Mount.” Lepers were people who were in a condition of physical uncleanliness (Lev 13:44) and who literally had to shout “unclean, unclean” (Lev 13:45) and be isolated from others (Num 5:2). They were utterly unwanted by people in the community, and rejected because of their impure condition.
Matthew tells us that a leper came before Yeshua and prostrated himself before him, and told him that if he wished, he could cure him. Moved with mercy, Yeshua answered him “I will do so!” and immediately, he was cleansed of his leprosy.
Every time I read this passage, I have no doubt that Yeshua had the authority, the power, and the proper disposition to heal the leper, but I came to realize that it was not until the leper surrendered to him, bowing before him and acknowledging his lordship, that Yeshua performed his miracle.
How many times have we gone through difficult situations involving illness, pain, or even torment, waiting for YeHoVaH to “do the work,” only for nothing to happen? We know that our heavenly Father has the power to heal us, and that by Yeshua’s wounds we have been healed (Is 53:5). But even so, we remain afflicted.
Yet even in the midst of all this frustration, we can perhaps learn something from the example of this leper. YeHoVaH knows our pain and knows what we need, but sometimes He allows sickness to touch us – remember the example of Job! – because He is waiting for us to turn to Him and bow down, saying “Lord, if it is your wish, you can heal me up.”