I’m a Leper

How would you respond if you heard that the lady down the street who spreads gossip about you slipped on some ice and is in the hospital?

What would your thoughts be if you heard that the national spokesman for the gay rights movement died of AIDS in the hospital?

How would you react if you heard that an abortion doctor discovered a bomb in his Mercedes Benz as he was leaving for the airport for a vacation in Palm Springs?

Some people might silently cheer and think “serves them right,” and believe that God was punishing these people for their behavior. Though I am ashamed to admit it, I used to think that way.

But no longer.

What brought about this shift? One thing: Up until about five years ago, I thought I had my life pretty much figured out. I was doing pretty well in my Christian walk. I knew a lot about the Bible. But then, through a long series of events (some of which you can read over at Oh Me of Little Faith, I came to see that I was actually a leper.

We often hear that since Jesus loved lepers, we should find the outcast and rejected in our own society, and love them like Jesus. I don’t disagree. But I believe that before we can love other lepers, we need to recognize that we ourselves are lepers also. Only after we see ourselves as lepers do we then have the right perspective to go and spend time with other lepers. We do not go as healthy and holy members of society to minister to the sick and dying sinners.

No, it is only from the stance of a leper can we follow Jesus to touch and minister to other lepers, learning to love the unlovable, and touch the untouchable.

So, are you a leper?

This post is based on the Grace Commentary for Luke 5:12-16.

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