How Does Jesus’ Compassion for Lepers Encourage Us to Care for the Lost?
Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, we see him witness to all types of people. One of the most interesting groups that He reaches out to are lepers. Lydia Bloom Medwin from My Jewish Learning teaches us, "In the biblical narrative, a leper was considered the ultimate ‘other,’ distinguishable by the white, scaly skin that was prone to painful peeling and oozing.” A leper was an outcast of society, untouchable, and unapproachable. Today we are going to look at what we can learn from Jesus’ approach to lepers.
This caused me to think, perhaps it is not a physical leper, but who do I (and who do you) treat like a leper in our world today? Who do we believe is too far gone and out of reach of our Savior Jesus? Is it a family member we have prayed for many years, someone with very different life values? A person deep in a different religion, someone who seems so hostile towards Christians, or the socially awkward? Our “leper” might be someone whom God has placed in our path so that we can show His love in a way that would draw them to understand what Jesus has done for them.
Jesus proves that He can make the most dirty to be perfectly clean. He is the true sacrifice for all people who believe in Him. This includes those whom we want to shut out or steer clear of with the gospel message. However, Jesus reveals that they need Him so much and we should welcome them and share His love with those who are easily outcast by believers.
Who are we to decide who gets to hear the hope of the gospel and who does not? 2 Peter 3:9 beautifully says, “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.” This teaches us that God’s heart is for all to come to Him. This means the “lepers” of society, the outcasts at our schools, work places, in our families, and communities.
How are we going to respond to this calling to reach out to those in need of the hope that we have in Jesus? How can we really believe that He can do for others what He did for the lepers in these passages? We need to remember that we too are the lepers. We were completely unclean, but Christ has made us clean. May we never forget what He has done for sinners like us as we share this hope with others.
Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Mladen Zivkovic
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew for over two years and mom to baby Graham. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She had the joy of hosting Her Many Hats podcast where she explored the many roles that women play while serving One God. Most recently, Emma has released her first Bible Study Book, Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness.
Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Emma also had the privilege of having been a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com