To Be Treated Like A Leper

To Be Treated Like A Leper

What do you have in common with a leper?

If you’re familiar with Scripture, you may know that leprosy is mentioned several times throughout it. What was significant about leprosy? There were other easily transmittable diseases but Old Testament ceremonial law required that lepers, in particular, present themselves to the priests. When the priests deemed them “unclean”, they were sent out of the city. If later deemed “clean”, the lepers could then rejoin the community.

Fast forward to the time of Christ and to today’s sermon text (below). Jesus runs across a small group of lepers and they call out to him to “have mercy on us”. He tells them to go show themselves to the priests, as ceremonial law required. A few verses later we learn they were cleansed and Jesus says to the one who took the time to thank him, “your faith has healed you”.

Just like the lepers, we are afflicted with imperfect flesh. A sinful nature corrupted by sin. So corrupt that only Christ can cleanse us. We cannot heal ourselves with vitamins, exercise and a good night’s sleep like we can with the flu. We require a full cleansing – one we can only receive by faith in Christ Jesus.

In previous posts, we have mentioned the Greek word “aphiemi”. It’s meaning is rather relevant to today’s lesson since aphiemi means to send away. It means more than just forgiven. It means Christ’s work on the cross sends away our sins. We are wiped clean, clothed in His righteousness.

And what does He ask for in return? Our thanks. Not riches, sacrifices or our first-born. Just our genuine thankfulness.

Thanks be to God for cleansing us of our sin!

Here is today’s sermon text from Luke 17:

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers
11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

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