You’ve got to wonder if what Jesus told the leper was all in jest because the leper couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He couldn’t help but go and tell everyone what Jesus had done for him. It’s as if Jesus infected the leper with something way more contagious than leprosy. Jesus had infected him with hope that leads to love.
A new wilderness prophet has arrived speaking on behalf of God but he knows he’s unworthy to even take off the sandals of Jesus. And he’s just the start of a long line of people who are unworthy to follow Jesus but Jesus extends an invitation to walk with him anyway.
Nearby, some shepherds were tending to their flocks. And while Caesar Augustus made his royal court in Rome, God had decided to make his royal court the fields where these shepherds lay. Caesar Augustus may have proclaimed a census from Rome but God would make his proclamation that the Messiah had entered the world by sending his messenger angels to the least likely and the oft forgotten.
In a prophetic moment, Jesus instead chooses to be with the common people, taking on their sin, plunging it into this watery grave only to rise up again into the fullness of God where God says, I’m pleased. The Jesus who loves us is the one who wades into the waters with us.