8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
What a beautiful intimate moment between Jesus and the leper. All Jesus’ attention and energy was focused on this man for a few short minutes. But what transforming minutes these were.
When Jesus met me at age 14 it was a transforming moment, when the knowledge I had of God completely changed into a relationship with him. Meeting Jesus turned my life around and gave it meaning. I think it was like this for the leper too.
The leper was used to being treated as a non-person, living a life being shunned and at a distance from society. I have heard about a leper colony on a small Greek island where people were taken by boat and could never ever leave. The message was “keep away”. Like that, people did not look on the leper as a person, only as someone to be avoided. However, Jesus treated him as a person who mattered, who he could and did heal. Not just that, Jesus also wanted to restore him to the community, by sending him to the temple to perform the legal requirements. This says to me Jesus was interested in his future as well.
The leper was now a walking living testimony that Jesus was God. What do people see when they look at my life, my attitudes? Am I a walking living testimony to the restoration Jesus has brought about in me, a restoration of my relationship with him which will last for eternity?
You could have brushed the leper aside as you basked in the glow of the adulation of the crowd. But you took the time to transform and restore him to the person you wanted him to be. Thank you for your love and care for me, that you see and value me for who I am, and that you are bringing about your purpose for my life. Amen
Written by Claire Moore