28.12.12

The Leper

// VIA \\
"Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."

I was always fascinated by those words. It was a desperate, humble request made by a sick man on his knees as he begged for life. Who else could he ask?

As I read through Luke, I didn't expect to get caught on a bunny-trail concerning the Leper and the Paralytic. This has probably been the twentieth time I've read through that chapter and the tenth time I've read through Luke.

He was a leper. Lepers were a hopeless case, living in colonies with the sick - their bodies were hideously deformed depending on how bad it was. People generally avoided them. They were dangerous people pitied occasionally by some sympathetic relative who might be so kind as to give them a meal once in a while.

Naturally I wondered why on earth he was near Jesus. Didn't he know that Jesus knew the Law forwards and backwards? Didn't he expect Jesus to back away and blast him with Leviticus 13?

Once again, He felt compassion for this poor man kneeling before him. He healed the sick with His voice before. People just had to touch His robe to be healed.

But not this leper. He didn't tell Him anything about being healed -- not yet. Instead, He touched Him.

Jesus touched a leper.

In our house, we've had our ER trips, the flu epidemics...in fact, as I write I have two brothers ill - one with a fever and the other with a freshly operated useless hand. I know there's nothing beautiful about changing bandages - or holding a blood soaked gauze over a toddler's broken thumb, or giving a hug to a victim of the stomach flu.

With this man - the leper - it wasn't only disturbing (not to mention dangerous) to touch him - but technically, according to the law - if someone touched him, they were to be considered unclean as well.

But anyway, He touched him. And the leprosy left.

Normally, I would read these verses and marvel that the leprosy left - that would be exciting to see! Now I gasped because...He touched him. He didn't have to - but He did. 

I looked at the leper again. And somehow he was familiar - too familiar in fact. In fact, I realize, that I was that leper, the one holding to last hope, groveling boldly at the feet of Jesus -- begging to be cleansed. The Son of God touching us -- sin soaked people that we are -- that's revolting. Yet He did. I look in awe as I read through the gospels. Each verse becomes personal. It was my curse and my sickness that He took away for me. He touched me. 

// Listening to
Our God by Chris Tomlin on Grooveshark

2 comments

  1. One of my favorite Bible stories is of the women who committed adultry. Every time I read it I am mezmerised by the forgiveness Jesus offered. Why would he forgive a sinful woman like her? A woman who, according to the law, should have been stoned. "Let he who has no sin cast the first stone." We are all GUILTY. I don't think I will ever fully understand why Jesus does the things He does. Like forgiving the sinners and touching the lepers (both of which describe me!). I will never understand why He would die for me when He KNEW I would mess up and that I would sin. Thank Jesus for His unconditional love!I am so undeserving of His love. Thankfully He doesn't give us what we deserve.:D

    Thanks for this post, Bethany! I really needed to read this!

    P.S. I can sympathize with your brothers, cause right now I am miserably sick as well. I send my get well wishes and prayers!

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  2. Bethany,

    How many times have you read Leviticus?

    That story is a demonstration and explanation of who Christ is. But the more familiar I become with the Law, the more amazing God's love and plan of salvation appear. There is a plethora of concepts that jump from that story... I love it. But it is better to have the Author show them to you.

    It is an amazing story.

    Thanks for the thoughts and the joy that comes from knowing God's love is for me.

    -DFA

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Maira Gall