Devotional Day 3
Be Kind – 10 Lepers – Luke 17:11-19
“As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’” – Luke 17:12-13
As a child, I thought the term for casting others aside was “treating them like a leopard”, so the saying made no sense to me because leopards are cool. I have always loved leopard print stuff; my mom still has my pink leopard pants I wore in high school when I thought I was cool.
Leprosy, on the other hand, is not cool. According to the CDC: it “is an infection caused by slow-growing bacteria. With early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be cured. However, if left untreated, the nerve damage can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness.” (https://www.cdc.gov/leprosy/index.html)
The law of Moses forbade people with leprosy to stay in communities, worship, and lead normal lives. Those afflicted had to warn those who came close by yelling “Unclean, unclean” so as not to share the disease, but this meant disconnection from family, isolation, inability to make a living, purposeless, hopelessness, and a lack of touch (see Numbers 5:1-3 and Deuteronomy 23:14).
When these ten lepers come in contact with Jesus, they are desperate. Have you ever been desperate for healing? They have tried every remedy that the culture offered, to no avail. Even though they were Samaritans, the sworn enemy of the Jews, they ask for help and mercy from Jesus. They humbled themselves in hopes that the rumors they had heard about Jesus’ ability to heal others were true.
The Scriptures said the lepers were “far off”, and yet, Jesus intentionally crossed paths with them. He healed them from “far off”; Jesus’ ability to perform miracles has no boundaries, and yet he chose to travel their direction, knowing that they needed healing.
I am certainly familiar with the pangs of disconnection. Not to the extent of a leper, of course, but I have felt left out, isolated, unclean, and disregarded. I have felt “less than” on numerous occasions: too fat, too tall, too smart, too loud, too enthusiastic, too religious, too much. I have my fair share of scars from the labels others placed on me, but am also aware that I may have, in my own insecurity, inflicted them on others.
Jesus chose to put himself in contact with the “undesirables” of his day – the castoffs of society. He overlooked the fact that the two cultures were at odds in order to build bridges of community.
- Read Luke 17:11-19. Who is involved in this story?
- What happened?
- How does Jesus treat the lepers?
- What does this story tell us about the character of God?
- Have you ever been healed from something?
- In what areas can you relate to feeling disconnected and “not enough”?
- In what area of your marriage do you need to need healing?
- What can you glean from how Jesus interacted with the lepers to help you love and serve your spouse better?