The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 15

Yeshua’s Healing Ministry

A Leper Cleansed

After Yeshua had come down from the hill, large crowds followed him. Then a man afflicted with tzara’at came, kneeled down in front of him, and said, “Sir, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Yeshua reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I am willing! Be cleansed!” And at once, he was cleansed from his tzara’at. Then Yeshua said to him, “See that you tell no one; but as a testimony to the people, go and let the cohen examine you, and offer the sacrifice that Moshe commanded.” ~ Mattityahu 8:1-4 (compare Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-16).

By the first century, Judaism had developed a list of significant signs the true Messiah could be expected to give as proof of his identity (see 16:1–4). Healing a leper was one of them. Another was casting out a deaf, dumb, and blind demon (12:22–23).

Tell no one. In the early part of His ministry, Yeshua did not publicize the fact that He was the Messiah because the people expected a Messiah who would liberate Isra’el from Rome and rule in glory, not one who would die a criminal’s death. Had He been publicly identified as the Messiah, the people would have tried to make Him king then and there, as they did soon after (Yochanan 6:15). Yeshua’s ruling in glory would not have fulfilled Isaiah 53’s prophecy of a Messiah who must suffer and die had the attempt succeeded. Only at His Second Coming will Yeshua fulfill the prophecies concerning the Messianic Age of world peace. [1]

A Paralytic Healed

After a while, Yeshua returned to K’far-Nachum. The word spread that He was back, and so many people gathered around the house that there was no longer any room, not even in front of the door. While He was preaching the message to them, four men came to Him carrying a paralyzed man. They could not get near Yeshua because of the crowd, so they stripped the roof over the place where He was, made an opening, and lowered the stretcher with the paralytic lying on it. Seeing their trust, Yeshua said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” ~ Mark 2:1-5 (compare Mattityahu 2:1-2 and Luke 5:17-20).

Most buildings in ancient Isra’el had flat roofs made of a mixture of clay and brush, reinforced by wooden beams.

This is a great story to utilize Pastor Rick Warren’s “Picture It” method of Bible Study. Essentially, you place yourself in the story as one of the characters and see the story through their eyes. I always picture myself as the house owner, wanting to know who is going to repair my roof? 😊

People in ancient Isra’el commonly saw a relationship between sin and sickness. Although Mattityahu does not explicitly state this connection, it could explain why Yeshua begins by announcing forgiveness for the paralytic.

Scribes Question His Authority

On seeing this, some of the Torah-teachers said among themselves, “This man is blaspheming!” Yeshua, knowing what they were thinking, said, “Why are you entertaining evil thoughts in your hearts? Tell me, which is easier to say – ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? But look! I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He then said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your mattress, and go home!” And the man got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck and said a b’rakhah (blessing) to God the Giver of such authority to human beings. ~ Mattityahu 9:3-8

Our next post will begin to examine the Rise of Opposition.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary.

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