Jesus began spreading the gospel at this time as he went from town to town. As he preached he healed the people who were sick and cast out many demons.
In this section we see that he arose early, well before dawn and left the town where he was to move on to the next town. This was necessary if he was to spread the gospel to other places for his fame was rapidly spreading and he would be mobbed and prevented from going on.
He healed a leper at this time (Verse 40-41) and charged him to go and make the offerings for the cleansing of his disease as was required under the Mosaic Law. He also told the leper not to tell people how he had been healed. But the leper went and in his joy at being healed spoke freely of what and how he had been healed. As a result Jesus fame grew to an extent that he could not even enter a town for fear of being mobbed. Instead the people came out to him in the country from all over.
So what can we take from this as a lesson? Again we see evidence of the fact that these miraculous healings were being done in conjunction with spreading the gospel. And this is how the miracles for the most part were being performed. As I said in the previous post, the signs and wonders were provided to support and confirm the ministry of the truth. (Mark 16:20) They did not hold special healing meetings as we often see advertised by some churches today. Instead as the message was being proclaimed the people were healed at the same time to confirm the truth of the gospel.
We also see in the words of the leper in this scripture that recognition of the authority Jesus had over sickness, disease and demons. The leper said to Jesus, “If you will, you can make me clean,” (Verse 40) and Jesus took pity on him and healed the man. The basis of this man’s healing was faith. He believed that the Lord had the power and authority to do this healing and so received it. Indeed all of the blessings we receive from the Lord are based upon faith. Just from a simple logic point of view, no person will receive anything from the Lord if they do not believe and have faith that the Lord can and will give it.
You don’t need a lot of faith to receive the gifts and blessings of God. Jesus said to the disciples when they were unable to cast out a demon from a man it was, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20) It is interesting that in this version he mentions that the disciples could not heal this particular man because of their “little faith.” In other versions it says it was because of “unbelief”, that is, their lack of faith, which is quite different from little faith. To have a little faith is not the same as a lack of or no faith, and this I believe is what Jesus was saying. The Greek word this comes from suggests it should be better rendered as lack of rather than a little. When you consider the next part of that same scripture where Jesus says if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, which is clearly a very, very little amount of faith, you can move mountains.
So let us have faith that what we ask of the Lord we will receive if it is in his will. Have no doubts but hold fast to the faith that you have in Christ Jesus.