When Jesus came down from the mountain, the crowds were drawn to him. Matthew describes three specific healings: The man with leprosy, the centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother-in-law. This is followed by the casting out of demons and healing of the sick that are brought to him. There is a theme of humility and submission to the authority of Jesus. The man with leprosy knelt before Christ and asks for healing, if it was the will of Jesus. The centurion called himself undeserving but understood the authority of Christ. Peter’s mother-in-law, after being healed, served Jesus.
Note the repetition of the word “clean” in the story of the leper. The man asked to be made clean, Jesus said clean, the man was cleansed. It is important to note, that Jesus touched the man, as lepers were considered untouchable. He commands the healing, and the result was immediate. The leper was told to tell no one, while the others were not given this command. This may be tied to the the man being instructed to show himself to the priest, in compliance with the law. Undoubtedly the priest would be amazed at the man’s healing, and would question him. It was not yet time for Jesus to be revealed in that manner.
There is a brief glimpse into Peter’s life with the revelation that he was married. It was the touch of Jesus that healed Peter’s mother-in-law also, but it was only by spoken word that the servant of the centurion was healed. A centurion was a Roman officer in charge of one-hundred men, so his words to Jesus on matters of authority are sincere. The centurion was the mediator between the servant and Christ. Therefore the mediator for the servant was of greater status than than who needed the healing. This is parallel to Christ, our mediator to God. The centurion expressed great faith, that according to Jesus, was unparalleled in Israel. This demonstrates the nature of Israel’s relationship with God at that time. The kingdom of God will extended to the gentiles. Those who reject Christ will be cast out. will not.
The crowds still approached Jesus as evening came, and people brought others to be healed, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.