Summary: One day, a man discovers he has leprosy, and we discover, not only is his leprosy alot like our sin, but we are alot like the Leper.
From Leprosy to Life
I. The Grim Discovery.
He knew something was wrong...very wrong. But he
hoped that if he waited long enough, it might go
away. But it didn’t. In fact, it got worse. Soon,
others started to notice that the man was beginning
to be pale and sick looking; and soon he realized that he would have to take a journey to a far away city where he was to receive instruction on what he should do. And so, the next morning he left for the city and took that long and tiring journey. After several days, he reached the city and made his way to a room where he had never been before, inorder to speak to someone he did not know. When he finally got there, he entered the room, and he waited.
After what seemed to feel like several hours, the door opened and a person with a uniform entered. The man stood up and said to the stranger, "It’s here", and he rolled up his sleeve and revealed an open, runny sore. He said, "It’s here", and he slipped his collar to the side, exposing another open sore. "It’s here", he said, as he removed his shoe, where the priest was able to see yet another infectious sore at the top of his foot. And with that, the priest jumped back with a wild look in his eyes and said to the man, "I declair unto you that you are unclean. Now hear the words of the law. "A Leper must wear torn clothes, and his hair must be unkepted, and everywhere he goes, he must cover his mouth with his hand and shout- out, ’unclean, unclean’." May God have mercy on your soul!" And at once, the door slammed shut and the priest was gone.
The man’s worse nightmare had just come true. As he slowly picked himself up, he stood there in that dark room for several minutes in a state of shock. Then, with determination, he started ripping his favorite robe that his wife made for him. Then he bent down and gathered the dust from the floor in his hands and rubbed it all over his face and hair until he looked like nothing more than a wild-man. And when he stepped outside and squented at the brightness of the light, he slowly covered his mouth with his hand and choked out the dreaded words, "UNCLEAN...I’M UNCLEAN!!!" And for the first time in his life, people shreeked when the saw him. A mother in the street quickly grabbed her children and said, "Don’t touch that man! Stay away from him!" And a vender of vegtables on the street corner threw something at him and shouted, "GET OUT OF HERE!"
Quickly the leper made his way outside the city into the open countryside and started for home. But he knew that the worst was yet to come, because when he gets home to his children, he must not touch them! Later, when his wife saw him coming from a distance, she and thelr children ran to their father with joy and excitment, only to hear the man growl at them and say, "KEEP AWAY FROM ME! I AM NO LONGER YOUR FATHER! I AM A LEPER!"
The wife fell to the ground, in shock, and the confused children turned to their mother and cried, "WHY? WHY?" Then, with a broken heart, the Leper turned and walked away. And as he was leaving, he looked over his shoulder for the last time, and saw his wife and three children huddled tightly together, weeping and sobbing uncontrollably. That final memory would be etched in his mind forever.
A memorial service will be held for him in his village by the local Rabbi. His wife will be free to remarry, but he knows that she will not. And everyday the Leper spends apart from his family, all alone, he asks himself, "What is to become of my children?"
II. A Leper meets Jesus.
A man with Leprosy came to Jesus and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean". Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing", he said. "Be clean!".
Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
We can not read this passage and understand it’s real meaning unless we hear a story like the one just now, because everyone who became a leper, had to leave family and friends behind. Every leper was a father or mother, a sister or brother, a son or daughter. We do not know who this man was from this story in the Bible, but we can know that he was somebody’s son. Perhaps he was someone’s husband, or father, or someone’s best friend. Because of the nature of this infectious disease, lives were lost, relationships were severed, and families were destroyed.