Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Ten Lepers Part 1
I had to stop and think again today as I came across again the story of the 10 lepers. (Luke 17: 12-19)
"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 priest. 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. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."
What if this story wasn't just to show us how one person showed gratitude? Gratitude is a good message to take no doubt. I see another message, perhaps one that is often overlooked. A message that would add a great deal of additional understanding and create an even more full gratitude if were were to comprehend and do likewise. A message that perhaps may lead to the same behavior of bursting expression of gratitude as was the case with the one leper.
Ten lepers wanted to be healed, Christ did heal them. He told them to go and show themselves to the priest, no doubt to receive the ordinance in the law of Moses that dealt with being healed from leprosy as found in Leviticus 14:1-32. They did as they were told. They followed Christ's instructions and were healed. One of them however returned to Christ and was made "whole", not just healed. He received an additional type of cleansing. He understood Jesus was The Priest. Christ was and is the Great High Priest. One of the lepers got that Christ was The Priest, making it unnecessary to go and participate in the symbolic ordinances that were intended to point to Christ anyway. So he obeyed Christ also, but knowing who it was that was standing there, he showed himself to the actual High Priest. It was that leper that was made whole. He fell to his knees and face and gave glory and thanks to God. 9 of them could see Christ as Master, and someone who should be obeyed, but one of them saw him as the great High Priest. Christ offers more than what is visible upon first glance.
How they understood Christ determined their actions. His titles are real and mean what they say. I personally think such an expression of gratitude would be all but involuntary given such a being as Christ.
"Wise men still seek Him" is the cliche phrase I see on pictures and wooden decorations in peoples houses. But the phrase is still somewhat incomplete. Perhaps below that phrase could read: And the humble actually find Him.
"Only the rare person realizes where light and truth, which is the glory of God can be found. For the rest there is an abundance of rites, ordinances, observances, rituals, and symbols. While all of these point to the real thing, they are not the real thing itself." (Come let us Adore Him. pg 132)
How often do each of us do what Christ says, or what His servants counsel us, but yet fail to come to the Master as that leper did. We rely on the ordinances, the rituals and the rites, the institution, or His servants all pointing us to Christ but yet fall short of actually going where all of those things point. No use being pointed if you don't look, or go there. I wish I knew the name of the leper who got it. He's an inspiration and a teacher to us all. He did what Christ asked differently than the 9. He was made whole.