We have a whole new set of lepers today, people whom we ostracize, whom we exclude and excommunicate, declare unclean and push aside.


audio icon matthew 8 vs 1-4 healing of the leper

Today, we have another account of Jesus cleansing a leper. There is a part of each one of us that is like the leper, in need of healing. Once we recognize that we are all in need of healing, God will have compassion on us. Then again, once God shows compassion to us, we should want to show compassion to each other…in fact, to everyone on the planet.

We have a whole new set of lepers today, people whom we ostracize, whom we exclude and excommunicate, declare unclean and push aside. In our culture, we ostracize people on death row, people with AIDS, people with disabilities, people who are Muslim, or people are just different. We often think they are the cause of our problems: let’s push them aside or imprison them or ignore their sufferings; or kill them and get rid of them.  Then, we will be OK; we’ll be safe, we’ll be secure. But, like Jesus, we must side with the lepers of our time, cultivate a heart of compassion, stretch out our hands and welcome them into our community.

Look at this:

·         Paul was once a “leper” to Christians, a persecutor of those who followed Jesus. He was converted but the community didn’t believe it, and wouldn’t allow Paul into the circle of Christians. Barnabas was convinced of Paul’s genuine, authentic conversion and persuaded the community. The best way Paul could give evidence of his healing from “leprosy” was to produce good fruit and so glorify God.

·         Mark was a “leper” in that he deserted the first Christian missionary journey. Barnabas gave Mark another chance. While Paul refused to believe that Mark was genuinely healed and ready to evangelize again, Barnabas believed in Mark. The best way Mark could give evidence of his healing was to produce good fruit and so glorify God.

Healed and converted “lepers” are accountable to God, not man. They need not prove themselves before men. However, some people need evidence of full conversion and healing, and the best evidence is fruit, that is, undeniable holiness and good works for His kingdom.

We have to reconcile with everyone everywhere. Only then, like Jesus, will we become people of infinite compassion!

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