compassion, faith, healing, Jesus Christ, leprosy, lordship, seeking Him

The Other Nine, #80

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:17-19, (context, vv. 11-19)

He was the unlikely one. Samaritans were at the bottom of the spiritual “food chain.” He was only included in the group because he also was a leper–a person’s religion meant nothing. He was a leper first and foremost, and after all, they do say that “misery loves company.”

The group of ten stood far away, so they had to yell. They “called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (verse 13).

The text implies that Jesus never touched them, which is somewhat unusual because Jesus usually did. Their healing was a bit odd as well, as they were healed as they traveled to see the priest. That was one of the many duties the priest had to do, Leviticus 14:2-32.

So it seems that this particular healing wasn’t exactly instantaneous, but something gradual. But still, it required faith, but I have to believe that these guys may have expected something a little more. (But having faith sometimes, isn’t what we expect.)

The ex-leper, a.k.a. the Samaritan, returns and comes back to the One who healed him. The previous verses tell us that he fell at Jesus’ feet. Now tell me–was he “disobeying” the Lord’s command to go to the priest? I’m not so sure. When we consider that he was a Samaritan, and not really part of the Jewish religion or rites, it might make some sense.

He’s not rebuked by Jesus. Instead Jesus turns and in a way, lavishes praise on him. Maybe there is an application here to those we consider to be “outside” of our faith. Sometimes rules get broken by those who we consider on the margins–they seem to be external to our religious sensibilities.

“Your faith has made you well,” is Jesus’ evaluation; he recognizes the essentials that are necessary. Jesus understands the reality of this man’s faith in him–and it’s that faith which has becomes the conduit for his healing.

“Christ will always accept the faith the puts its trust in Him.”

    Andrew Murray

Standard
broken people, faith, Gospel, healing, leprosy, temple

Be Clean, Entry #18

And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, 

“I will; be clean.” 

And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:3 (context vv. 1-4)

He lives completely devastated. Leprosy was more than physical, it had spiritual consequences. He probably had been living as an outcast for many years. When he got anywhere close to the healthy they would shout out that he was “unclean.” They were afraid of him. He was the consummate ‘boogeyman.’

Lepers were excluded from any temple services. They could never ‘sacrifice.’ They wore their sin like a heavy coat, and they were destined to wear it for the rest of their sad lives. The Jews regarded them as cursed by God; never ever to be touched by anyone. They were the damned.

Can you even imagine the awful ugliness that life had given him?

To be clean was only a wonderful dream. It evaporated when he woke; it was never, ever realized. His disease ‘stuck’ to him permanently. (He must’ve realized that it was forever and ever.) He was cursed by God to live alone, and die damned.

It throughly amazes me that Jesus reached out and touched him. Most likely he hadn’t known any human contact for many years. I think the Lord knew and understood this man’s biggest need. To be touched was a bonanza, to be healed was ‘heaven.’

What sin has hypnotized you?

What ugliness degrades your spirit? Look to Him (and His mercy) and let Him touch you deep inside. The Law insists that contamination would spread to the person who touched the unclean, but Jesus being ‘clean’ passed on His wholeness.

That’s the kind of God I serve.

“Give up the struggle and the fight; relax in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus; look up into His lovely face and as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding–He does the transforming. There is no short-cut to holiness.”

–Alan Redpath

 

Standard