There is a pattern here with folks hitting their knees when they encounter Jesus? It seems that they are in this posture for one of two reasons, respect or desperation. In Luke 5 the man with leprosy came out of desperation. The physician Luke gives a pretty brief depiction of the scene. “When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’” (v.12) I don’t know if Jesus was surprised by this statement of belief, or if this was becoming a common reaction to his presence by this point. Either way, He had to be impressed by the confidence that this man had. Basically, what this man was saying was, “Jesus, I have a problem, I believe that you can fix it.”
Jesus’ reaction to the man’s belief was simple, yet life giving, “I am willing, be clean.” (v.13) At first glance this all appears a little too clean cut. After all, the man had to have incredible emotional scars from being isolated from his family and friends. He had to have countless painful memories of living outside of town as an outcast. Sure he was healed physically, but what about spiritually, emotionally and mentally? Luke doesn’t get into the specifics, but my guess is that a lot of healing still had to take place in this man’s life. With his physical body now healed he had to continue believing that the rest of him would be healed as well. This man had an incredible daily reminder that this one Jesus would heal every aspect of life.