Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All we need is faith.

11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
(Luke 17:11-19)

Leprosy in Biblical times was a terrible thing. We're not exactly sure what Biblical leprosy was. While it may have described what is known today as "Hansen's Disease," the word probably included other skin diseases, as well. Whatever it was, once a person caught it, it was considered incurable, and those diagnosed with leprosy were banned from society.
Notice two things: (1) Jesus is just outside of the village and (2) he meets a group of lepers. It wasn't uncommon for lepers to group together. They can't have much social contact with the "clean" members of society, so they form their own society of the "unclean," the "untouchables." Being just outside a village would be common, since they probably obtain food from family members or those in the village who have pity on them. Since they have no land to till, no livestock to look after, they are dependent upon others.
Jesis did not heal the ten immediately. He told them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they were going, following his instructions, they were healed. If they had not had faith in Jesus, if they had not followed his instructions, they would not have been healed. It is like that with us. Faith in Jesus' mercy, will enable us to get over the greatest difficulties. Faith in Jesus' mercy will heal us when we feel that there is no hope. Just as Jesus healed the lepers of that horrible disease, Jesus can heal us of whatever disease of mind or spirit that may possess us. All we need is faith.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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