And there came a leper ... - See the notes at Matthew 8:1-4.
Kneeling down to him - He kneeled and inclined his face to the ground, in token of deep humiliation and earnest entreaty. Compare Luke 5:12.
If thou wilt - This was an acknowledgment of the almighty power of Jesus, and an appeal to his benevolence.
Make me clean - You (Jesus) can heal me of this loathsome and offensive disease, in the eye of the law justly regarded as "unclean," and render me "legally" clean, and restore me to the privileges of the congregation.
And Jesus ...touched him - It was by the law considered as unclean to touch a leprous man. See Numbers 5:2. The fact that Jesus touched him was evidence that the requisite power had been already put forth to heal him; that Jesus regarded him as already clean.
I will - Here was a most manifest proof of his divine power. None but God can work a miracle; yet Jesus does it by his "own will" - by an exertion of his own power. Therefore, Jesus is divine.
See thou say nothing to any man - The law of Moses required that a man who was healed of the leprosy should be pronounced clean by the priest before he could be admitted again to the privileges of the congregation, Lev. 14. Christ, though he had cleansed him, yet required him to be obedient to the law of the land - to go at once to the priest, and not to make delay by stopping to converse about his being healed. It was also possible that, if he did not go at once, evil-minded men would go before him and prejudice the priest, and prevent his declaring the healing to be thorough because it was done by Jesus. It was of further importance that "the priest" should pronounce it to be a genuine cure, that there might be no cavils among the Jews against its being a real miracle.
Offer for thy cleansing those things ... - Two birds, and cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop; and after eight days, two he-lambs, without blemish, and one ewe-lamb, and fine flour, and oil, Leviticus 14:4, Leviticus 14:10.
For a testimony unto them - Not to the priest, but to the people, that they may have evidence that it is a real cure. The testimony of the priest on the subject would be decisive.
Began to publish it much - That is, he made known his own cure. He was so deeply affected with it, and so much rejoiced, that he followed the natural dictates of his own feelings rather than the command of the Saviour.
Jesus could no more enter openly into the city - The word "could," here, does not refer to any natural inability, or to any physical obstacle in his way, but only denotes that there was difficulty, inconvenience, or impropriety in his doing it then; that he judged it best not then to enter into the city. The difficulty was, probably, that his being in the city drew such crowds of people as rendered it difficult to accommodate them, or so as to excite the opposition of civil rulers.
The city - The city or large town where the leper was cured. The same reason for not entering that city applied also to others, so that he remained in the deserts, where the multitudes could come to him without any difficulty or opposition.
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