“See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Matt 8:3)

After Jesus’ sermon, he came off of the mountain. The Gospel of Matthew states:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matt. 7:28-29)

What kind of authority was Matthew referring to? If we consider that the “teachers of the law” had that kind of authority (“of the law”) we have to consider that the kind of authority Jesus had provided greater authority than the “teachers of the law.”

This authority is the authority of God. Jesus was the messenger and representative of God. Many who claim to be Christians will criticize this statement, thinking that somehow being a messenger of God is lower than Jesus’ actual stature. But they must be asked: What higher authority could Jesus possibly have, if not the authority of God Himself? Could there be any higher position or authority?

Some will state that Jesus was God Himself, coming embodied onto the earth to die for our sins. This is a ludicrous claim, because first of all, God does not die. God controls both the physical and the spiritual kingdoms, and He does not need to "die" to cleanse our sins. God already has the ability to cleanse our sins. This is why Jesus suggested in his Lord's Prayer that his students ask God to forgive their sins.

God has the authority and power to cleanse our sins immediately and effectively, just from a thought. In fact, by simply sincerely thinking of Him, praying to Him and praising Him, we become purified. This is because God Himself is pure, and we only have to come into contact with Him to become purified.

Second of all, God remains God at all times. He does not become subjected to either sin nor others who might desire to kill Him.

Likewise, because Jesus is the servant, messenger and representative of God, his direct presence, his words, and his touch can be purifying. Because Jesus’ thoughts and his entire life was centered around doing God’s will, he is pure, and those who came into contact with him became purified. It is for this reason that Jesus was able cleanse people and heal people. It was not Jesus’ power or authority that rendered this ability: It was his devotion to God that gave him this purification power.

In the quote above, Jesus came upon a man with leprosy when coming down from his sermon on the hill. The man asked to be healed. Jesus obliged, saying, “I am willing.” And then, “Be clean!” Following this, Jesus spoke the statement above.

So we must ask, why would Jesus tell the leper not to tell anyone? Rather, he instructed him to go to his priest and offer “the gift Moses commanded.”

What was this gift the man was to offer? And why would something Moses commanded be considered a gift?

“The gift Moses commanded” would be none other than an offering to God in the mood of that instruction emphasized by Jesus many times, and that instruction emphasized by Moses in Deut. 6:4, to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:4)

Making an offering to God with love and devotion is not unlike making an offering to a potential friend. It is extending ourselves to someone else. When we make an offering to someone, we are saying that we want to be their friend. We like them and want to be with them. Offering to God is an ancient practice, one that Abraham, Moses and all the prophets practiced. And we can see by Jesus' statement here, and by his private ceremonies mistranslated as "giving thanks," that Jesus and his disciples also maintained this sacred practice of making offerings to God.

And why not tell anyone? Consider Jesus' statement in Matthew 6:5-6: "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

This confirms that Jesus was not interested in public appearance. He was not interested in claiming so many followers, or impressing people with his authority. He simply wanted each individual he spoke to to re-develop their loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

While the Christian world seems mesmerized by the torture and crucifixion brought upon Jesus by the Romans and the Jewish high priests, the actual gift that Jesus brought to us, which would not only cleanse our sins but perfect our lives, is the instruction to love and serve God with all our hearts. To do His will, not our will. It is only by utilizing and applying this instruction do we become saved:

“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)

This article is republished from The Real Teachings of Jesus.