Matthew 8:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

New Living Translation
Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. "Lord," the man said, "if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean."

English Standard Version
And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”

Berean Study Bible
Suddenly a leper came and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."

Berean Literal Bible
And behold a leper having come, was worshipping Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cleanse me."

New American Standard Bible
And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."

King James Bible
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Right away a man with a serious skin disease came up and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."

International Standard Version
Suddenly, a leper came up to him, fell down before him, and said, "Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean."

NET Bible
And a leper approached, and bowed low before him, saying, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

New Heart English Bible
And look, a leper came to him and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And behold a certain leper came worshiping him, and he said, “My lord, if you are willing, you are able to purify me.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A man with a serious skin disease came and bowed down in front of him. The man said to Jesus, "Sir, if you're willing, you can make me clean."

New American Standard 1977
And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And, behold, a leper came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou art willing, thou art able to cleanse me.

King James 2000 Bible
And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.

American King James Version
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.

American Standard Version
And behold, there came to him a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Darby Bible Translation
And behold, a leper came up to [him] and did him homage, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou art able to cleanse me.

English Revised Version
And behold, there came to him a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Webster's Bible Translation
And behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Weymouth New Testament
And a leper came to Him, and throwing himself at His feet, said, "Sir, if only you are willing you are able to cleanse me."

World English Bible
Behold, a leper came to him and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean."

Young's Literal Translation
and lo, a leper having come, was bowing to him, saying, 'Sir, if thou art willing, thou art able to cleanse me;'
Study Bible
The Leper's Prayer
1When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. 2Suddenly a leper came and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said, “be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.…
Cross References
Matthew 8:1
When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.

Matthew 8:25
The disciples went and woke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"

Matthew 9:18
While Jesus was saying these things, a synagogue ruler came and knelt before Him. "My daughter has just died," he said. "But come and place Your hand on her, and she will live."

Matthew 15:25
The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

Matthew 18:26
Then the servant fell on his knees before him. 'Have patience with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.'

Matthew 20:20
Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and knelt down to make a request of Him.

Mark 1:40
Then a leper came to Jesus, begging on his knees: "If You are willing, You can make me clean."

Luke 5:12
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell facedown and begged Him, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."

John 9:38
"Lord, I believe," he said. And he worshiped Jesus.

Acts 10:14
"No, Lord!" Peter answered, "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
Treasury of Scripture

And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.

behold.

Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down …

Luke 5:12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man …

a leper.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: …

Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

Leviticus 13:44-46 He is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him …

Numbers 5:2,3 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every …

Numbers 12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam …

Deuteronomy 24:8,9 Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that you observe diligently, …

2 Samuel 3:39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons …

2 Kings 5:1,27 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great …

2 Kings 7:3,4 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and …

2 Kings 15:5 And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper to the day of …

2 Chronicles 26:19-21 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: …

Luke 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; …

Luke 17:12-19 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that …

worshipped.

Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child …

Matthew 4:9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall …

Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, …

Matthew 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Matthew 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, …

Matthew 28:9,17 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, …

Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down …

Mark 5:6,7 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him…

Luke 5:12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man …

John 9:38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

1 Corinthians 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling …

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See you …

Revelation 22:8,9 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen…

if.

Matthew 9:28,29 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and …

Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Mark 9:22-24 And often it has cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to …

(2) A leper.--The discussion of leprosy, as to its nature, symptoms, and causes, would be at once long and difficult. The word, which is Greek and not Hebrew in its origin, has probably been used with varying extent of meaning, sometimes including elephantiasis, or even cancer. Even in its narrower meaning, as used by Hippocrates, leprosy was subdivided into three kinds: (1) the mealy, (2) the white, (3) the black, according to the appearance presented by the portions of diseased flesh. Confining ourselves to the Biblical form of the disease, we note (1) its probable origin in the squalor and wretchedness of the Egyptian bondage. It was the "botch," or plague "of Egypt" (Deuteronomy 28:27). In the Egyptian legends of the Exodus, indeed, the Israelites were said to have been expelled because they were lepers. (2) Its main features were the appearance of a bright spot on the flesh, whiter than the rest, spreading, in flaming, cracking; an ichorous humour oozing from the cracks, the skin becoming hard, scaly, "as white as snow" (Exodus 4:6; 2Kings 5:27). One so affected was regarded as unclean; his touch brought defilement (Leviticus 13:3; Leviticus 13:11; Leviticus 13:15). He was looked upon as smitten with a divine plague, and cases like those of Miriam and Gehazi gave strength to the belief. He had to live apart from his fellows, to wear on his brow the outward sign of separation, to cry out the words of warning, "Unclean, unclean" (Leviticus 13:45). The idea which lay at the bottom of this separation seems to have been one of abhorrence rather than precaution. The disease was loathsome, but there is no evidence that it was contagious, or even believed to be contagious. At the stage in which it reached its height, and the whole body was covered with the botch and scabs, the man was, by a strange contrast, declared to be ceremonially clean (Leviticus 13:13), and in this state, therefore, the leper might return to his kindred, and take his place among the worshippers of the synagogue. In the case now before us, the man would appear to have been as yet in the intermediate stage. St. Luke describes him, however, as "full of leprosy."

Worshipped him--i.e., as in St. Mark, "falling on his knees," or in St. Luke, "falling on his face," in the highest form of Eastern homage. The act gave to the word "Lord" the emphasis of one, at least, of its higher meanings.

If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.--The words imply either that he had seen or heard of our Lord's works of healing, or that His words had impressed him with the belief that the Teacher must have a power extending to acts also. There does not appear to have been any previous case of leprosy miraculously cleansed. The words of the man involve a singular mingling of faith and distrust. He believes in the power, he does not as yet believe in the will. Can it stoop to one so foul as he? If he shared the common feeling that leprosy was the punishment of sin, he might ask: himself, Will He pity and relieve one so sinful?

Verse 2. - And, behold. In this case the unexpected (Matthew 1:20, note) was the near approach (προσελθών), the "worship," and the prayer of an outcast. There came a leper. Loathsome physically and typically. The other passages which speak of the healing of lepers by our Lord or the apostles are

(1) Matthew 10:8;

(2) Matthew 11:5; parallel passage, Luke 7:22;

(3) Luke 17:12;

(4) perhaps Matthew 26:6; parallel passage, Mark 14:3. And worshipped him (Matthew 4:9, note). From the parallel passages we may see that the word here refers more to the posture of his body than to the nature of his thoughts. Saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Leprosy stood in so peculiar and solemn a relation to the Israelites that it would hardly be included under the terms, "all manner of disease, and all manner of sickness," in Matthew 4:23, 24; we have therefore no evidence that up to this time any leper had been healed by our Lord. The man's utterance marks, therefore, a distinct advance in faith. None like him, the object of the Divine "stroke," had been healed; but from lesser examples of Jesus' power he argues to the greater. Sure of Jesus' power, he appeals to his heart. Make me clean (καθαρίσαι). Not merely "heal me;" for a leper could not but think of healing and its consequences - restoration to social and religious privileges (vide infra). And behold there came a leper,.... As soon as he came down from the mountain, and whilst he was in the way; though Luke says, Luke 5:12 "when he was in a certain city"; in one of the cities of Galilee; one of their large towns, or unwalled cities, into which a leper might come: he might not come into walled (b) towns, at least they might turn him out, though without punishment: for the canon runs thus (c),

"a leper that enters into Jerusalem is to be beaten; but if he enters into any of the other walled towns, though he has no right, as it is said, "he sitteth alone", he is not to be beaten.''

Besides, this leper, as Luke says, was "full of leprosy", Luke 5:12 see the note there; and he might be pronounced clean by the priest, though not healed, and so might go into any city or synagogue: the law concerning such an one, in Leviticus 13:1 is a very surprising one; that if only there were some risings and appearances of the leprosy here and there, the man was unclean; but if "the leprosy covered all his flesh", then he was pronounced clean; and such was this man: he was a very lively emblem of a poor vile sinner, full of sin and iniquity, who is brought to see himself all over covered with sin, when he comes to Christ for pardon and cleansing; and is so considered by Christ the high priest, when he applies his justifying righteousness and sin purging blood to his conscience. A leper, by the Jews (d), is called "a wicked" man; for they suppose leprosy comes upon him for evil speaking. This account is ushered in with a "behold", as a note of admiration and attention, expressing the wonderfulness of the miracle wrought, and the seasonableness of it to confirm the doctrines Christ had been preaching to the multitude. This man came of his own accord, having heard of the fame of Christ;

and worshipped him in a civil and respectful way, showing great reverence to him as a man; which he did by falling down on his knees, and on his face; prostrating himself before him, in a very humble and submissive manner, as the other evangelists relate: for that he worshipped him as God, is not so manifest; though it is certain he had an high opinion of him, and great faith in him; which he very modestly expresses,

saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean: he was fully assured of his power, that he could make him clean, entirely rid him of his leprosy, which the priest could not do; who could only, according to the law, pronounce him clean, so that he might be admitted to company, but could not heal him of his disease: this the poor man was persuaded Christ could do for him, and humbly submits it to his will; of which, as yet, he had no intimation from him. And thus it is with poor sensible sinners under first awakenings; they can believe in the ability of Christ to justify them by his righteousness, cleanse them by his blood; and save them by his grace to the uttermost: but they stick at, and hesitate about his willingness, by reason of their own vileness and unworthiness.

(b) Misn. Celim. c. 1. sect. 7. (c) Maimon. Biath Hamikdash, c. 3. sect. 8. & in Misn. Celim. c. 1. sect. 8. (d) Maimon. in Misn. Negaim, c. 12. sect. 5. & Bartenora in ib. sect. 6. 2. And, behold, there came a leper—"a man full of leprosy," says Lu 5:12. Much has been written on this disease of leprosy, but certain points remain still doubtful. All that needs be said here is that it was a cutaneous disease, of a loathsome, diffusive, and, there is reason to believe, when thoroughly pronounced, incurable character; that though in its distinctive features it is still found in several countries—as Arabia, Egypt, and South Africa—it prevailed, in the form of what is called white leprosy, to an unusual extent, and from a very early period, among the Hebrews; and that it thus furnished to the whole nation a familiar and affecting symbol of SIN, considered as (1) loathsome, (2) spreading, (3) incurable. And while the ceremonial ordinances for detection and cleansing prescribed in this case by the law of Moses (Le 13:1-14:57) held forth a coming remedy "for sin and for uncleanness" (Ps 51:7; 2Ki 5:1, 7, 10, 13, 14), the numerous cases of leprosy with which our Lord came in contact, and the glorious cures of them which He wrought, were a fitting manifestation of the work which He came to accomplish. In this view, it deserves to be noticed that the first of our Lord's miracles of healing recorded by Matthew is this cure of a leper.

and worshipped him—in what sense we shall presently see. Mark says (Mr 1:40), he came, "beseeching and kneeling to Him," and Luke says (Lu 5:12), "he fell on his face."

saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean—As this is the only cure of leprosy recorded by all the three first Evangelists, it was probably the first case of the kind; and if so, this leper's faith in the power of Christ must have been formed in him by what he had heard of His other cures. And how striking a faith is it! He does not say he believed Him able, but with a brevity expressive of a confidence that knew no doubt, he says simply, "Thou canst." But of Christ's willingness to heal him he was not so sure. It needed more knowledge of Jesus than he could be supposed to have to assure him of that. But one thing he was sure of, that He had but to "will" it. This shows with what "worship" of Christ this leper fell on his face before Him. Clear theological knowledge of the Person of Christ was not then possessed even by those who were most with Him and nearest to Him. Much less could full insight into all that we know of the Only-begotten of the Father be expected of this leper. But he who at that moment felt and owned that to heal an incurable disease needed but the fiat of the Person who stood before him, had assuredly that very faith in the germ which now casts its crown before Him that loved us, and would at any time die for His blessed name.8:2-4 In these verses we have an account of Christ's cleansing a leper, who came and worshipped him, as one clothed with Divine power. This cleansing directs us, not only to apply to Christ, who has power over bodily diseases, for the cure of them, but it also teaches us in what manner to apply to him. When we cannot be sure of God's will, we may be sure of his wisdom and mercy. No guilt is so great, but there is that in Christ's blood which atones for it; no corruption so strong, but there is that in his grace which can subdue it. To be made clean we must commend ourselves to his pity; we cannot demand it as a debt, but we must humbly request it as a favour. Those who by faith apply to Christ for mercy and grace, may be sure that he is freely willing to give them the mercy and grace they thus seek. And those afflictions are blessed that bring us to know Christ, and cause us to seek help and salvation from him. Let those who are cleansed from their spiritual leprosy, go to Christ's ministers and open their case, that they may advise, comfort, and pray for them.
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