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Daily Reading: Numbers 33:40-35:34 ESV, Luke 5:12-28 ESV, Psalm 65:1-13 ESV, Proverbs 11:23 ESV

Daily Verse: “While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” (Luke 5:12 ESV)

LEPRA (3014):  “Scaliness.  Lepros, an adjective, is characterized by an eruption of rough, scaly patches.  Mt. 10:8 and Luke 4:27 indicate that the disease was common in the nation.  Only twelve cases are recorded in the NT, but these are specially selected.”[I]

Jesus cleanses.

Leprosy isolated the person both physically and emotionally.  If scaly, rough patches appeared on your flesh, instant banning occurred.  You moved to the leper colony ASAP; healthy people didn’t want to catch the nasty disease.  Now, doctors know about 95% of people have immunity to the disease, but in Jesus’ time, they didn’t know the statistics.[i]

Unfortunately, we treat people like lepers today.  Instead of loving, we judge, and if whoever doesn’t live up to our expectations, they get banned.  I’ve experienced sorrowful treatment from people who proclaimed to love Christ, and I’ve treated people sorrowfully.  As humans, we hurt people, most of the time unintentionally.  Jesus didn’t run from the leper; He cleansed him.

Experience Jesus.

Spending my days studying God’s word makes me more sensitive to my sinful ways.  When I think of how my critical spirit impacted relationships in the past, I cringe.  Repairing the damage I caused requires humility and the words, “I’m sorry,” Looking in the mirror at the pain I’ve caused others truly humbles me and makes me thankful Jesus loves a sinner like me.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47 ESV)

Acknowledging our sin before Jesus cleanses us of it.  God’s Son came to set us free from the bondage of sin and its penalty, death.  Submitting control of your life to Jesus means receiving His grace and mercy, separating us from our sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12 ESV).

Experiencing unconditional love and forgiveness from Jesus makes loving Him in return easy.  And from the affection you receive, you will feel compelled to share it with others, loving instead of judging.

Jesus loved everyone, even the lepers.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 150) Thomas Nelson

[i] https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/leprosy-risk#:~:text=Leprosy%2C%20also%20called%20Hansen’s%20disease,that%20cause%20this%20disease1

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