How We Treat Others: Devotion

26th July 2011 by Bill Davis
Matthew 8: 1-4; “When He came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said, ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Jesus is coming down from the Sermon on the Mount into the valley below. How often we have a great religious experience be it a revival, or weekend retreat; only to have to come back “down to the valley”; you know just everyday life. We don’t live on the mountain, we live in the valley. As Jesus returns, He is mobbed by people. One is a leper, a social outcast. This man decides to cross approved social boundaries both in humility and faith that Jesus could heal him if only He would. Not only is he physically healed but his social status is healed as well. Human humility and the grace of God prevail. The leper kneeling before Jesus showed great faith. The leper had great faith that Jesus could heal him if only He was willing to overlook his social status as an outcast. Often lepers were forbidden even to come near others, much less touching them. This can be a symbol of our own unworthiness to approach God. He reaches out to us. All we have to do is reach back. Touching a leper was strictly forbidden. It was absolutely taboo. But Jesus reached out His hand and touched him and he was cured immediately. We see that Jesus honored all the precepts of the law by telling the leper to go show himself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded. How do we handle the “lepers” in our life? Do we turn from those that are different from us or do we welcome them with the love of Christ?
Bill Davis

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