I know that these days, we hardly see any lepers around us. Most of us might not be able to identify one, even if we cross paths with them.
In simple terms, leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that causes skin lesions and nerve damage. It can be quite debilitating.
Back in the days, in the times of our Lord Jesus Christ. The lepers were separated from other members of society. This started as an ordinance because leprosy was contagious. So this measure was to serve as a quarantine protocol and prevent the spread of this condition among the people. Leprosy then, anyway, was an overhead term for varied skin lesions.
However by the times of Jesus Christ, the Israelites had developed their protocol, so not only were they separating, they had effectively ostracized the leper. Such that, he is not even considered a part of any fabric of society. There is a society on one hand and a leper on the other hand. The bell became a notification for him that does not belong.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
It was in this setting, that we find Jesus, accosted by ten Lepers. Not one. But Ten. What do you do when surrounded by ten Societal outcasts and rejects. People whom, no one must see you with, how much more, talking to them?
In this matter of Leprosy, there is no Jew, there is no gentile. Amongst the 10, nine of them were Jews, the tenth one was a gentile. Ordinarily, if they were healthy, you’d have a better chance at seeing the tip of your nose with your eyes without the help of a reflective surface than meeting that combination of people in conference.
But that’s the amazing thing about our Lord Jesus Christ. You see, provided that men think they are fine, then they will discriminate, look down on others, segregate, abuse, malign, ostracize, criticize others.
You see Jesus didn’t come to deal with a racial issue. Neither did he come to deal with Ethnic issues. Socio-economic issues too aren’t the reason. He didn’t come to deal with the artificial faultlines that man has created for himself. It’s when men consider themselves concerning those lines, they consider themselves better or better off.
Jesus came to deal with a human problem. A Man Problem. The Problem of Sin. And with respect to this problem, men are very much United, for as soon as a man’s eyes is open to his state, he realizes immediately that there is no distinction between him and other men, for all, have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
So on that day, we heard both Jew and Gentile cry out with one voice: Have Mercy on Us. Because the problem of Sin is a man problem. And only Jesus Christ can show Mercy.