What if the most embarrassing thing about you was known publicly?
Maybe it’s a bad habit.
Maybe it’s a relationship.
Maybe it’s a health problem.
Maybe it’s your grades.
What ever it is, what if it was written in BOLD letters on a sign around your neck. What if it was so horrible that you knew people didn’t want to be even 100 feet from you. Walking down the street, you would have to announce it so people had time to get out of your way.
That’s how it was for people with leprosy.
They were banned.
Rejects from society.
All because of something they did not want or choose to get.
One day they were fine, and the next-they were banned from being close to anyone.
In Luke 17, the account is told of a group of 10 men with leprosy. The only reason they were friends was because they all had the same disease. Some came from poor backrounds. Others came from rich families. Some were intellectual. Others were laborers. We don’t know exactly. But we do know that they wanted healed more than anything else in the world. And then one day they heard about a man named Jesus who could heal them. Word was going around that Jesus was in town, so as quickly as they could, they ran to the outskirts of the town hoping that Jesus would see them.
Luke 17:12 says that the lepers saw Jesus & they knew He could heal them, but they still “stood afar off.”
I can see it.
The lepers stay away. They are unsure of whether they should go to Him. One finally convinces the rest.
“It can’t hurt to try. The worst that could happen would be that He rejects us, and we’ve been through that hundreds of times.”
They slowly walk towards Him, trying not to gain attention or get too close. Instead, they “lift up their voices” and cry out to Him. And instead of walking away, Jesus walks closer to them!
Jesus loves on them. He heals them. He tells them to go show themselves to the priests because they are healed!
Their leprosy was not because of sin in their life. They had leprosy so the power of God could be shown through them. They suffered, so Jesus could do amazing things in their life, and they would come to follow Him. They suffered, so that through them, others would hear the story and come to follow Him.
I am suffering. You are suffering. We are all suffering. Why? So that Christ can come into our lives and do amazing things so we can come to love Him more, and so our testimony’s can be used to bring other’s to Him.
For multiple reasons, the lepers didn’t want to get too close to Jesus. They thought that leprosy was too big of a problem for Jesus to fix. Instead of turning away, Jesus runs close to them and says, “Come close to me! I will heal you. I will change your life. No problem is too big for Me.”
Your problem is not too big. Whatever would be written on your sign, it’s not too bad that Jesus can’t fix it. I promise.