Jesus’ Life: Chapter 4 – Jesus’ Ministry In Galilee (Part 1)
A man with leprosy approached Jesus and fell on his knees. He then begged Him for His help saying, “If you are willing, you can make me clean”, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, “I am willing, be clean”. The man was immediately healed.
Jesus asked the man to go and show himself to a priest, make an offering of thanks and to say nothing to anyone. However, the man, filled with immense joy, couldn’t contain his happiness and announced Jesus’ miraculous cure widely.
Leprosy was incurable in Jesus’ time. It caused severe visual deformities, possible loss of ability to feel pain and loss of eyesight. Sufferers were evicted from their homes and their towns. The disease was unsightly and people believed it was transmitted by simple contact. Sadly, sufferers were further punished when many equated leprosy with the suggestion that sufferers had committed serious wrongdoing.
Today, diseases such as Ebola and HIV/AIDS are often looked upon in the same way. People avoid sufferers, isolate them and sometimes even refuse to help. Other groups of people that are ignored and isolated in a similar way include, the old and the disabled. (Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16)
What if our sins were visible on our skin like leprosy? (“We would all be in hiding”, was a friend’s immediate reply!)
Well, they already are, God sees everything!
Jesus did not walk away from the leper; He stopped, talked, touched and healed.
Lord Jesus, remove my fears and inhibitions. Give me the strength to reach out and comfort the isolated; to stop, talk and pray for them. Remind me to do to others that which I would like others to do for me.
Father, your Son accepted our sufferings,
teaching us the virtue of patience in human illness.
Hear the prayers we offer for our sick brothers and sisters.
May all who suffer pain, illness or disease
realise that they are chosen to be Saints,
and know that they are joined to Christ
in his suffering for the salvation of the world.