In Jesus’ time, lepers were people with any skin issue that wouldn’t heal. As if that was not bad enough, they were separated from their families and villages. Jewish law dictated distancing to prevent its spread (Leviticus 13:45-46). Lepers lived with the pain of aloneness and severed relationships.
“Unclean” is probably a key word you starred on page 17 as it is repeated numerous times. People didn’t touch lepers. They believed the physical and spiritual uncleanliness would transfer to them. Yet Jesus chooses to touch the leper when he could have healed him without touching. Jesus gives a beautiful preview of what happens at the cross. When we believe he died in our place, our uncleanliness (sin) gets transferred to Jesus, and his cleanliness (righteousness) transfers to us. Just as the leper experiences restored health and relationships, we are forgiven and restored to a right relationship with God.
In this world of relational wreckage, we are called whenever possible to preview what God’s Kingdom will look like through our restored relationships. This centers in forgiveness. Forgiving does not mean trusting the offender, but releasing the debt you have against them to God. Watch this video clip as Pastor Jeff Manion explains relational pain and the importance of forgiveness in—forgiveness out.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.