I can’t say that I ever thought I would be attempting to explain leprosy and levitical law to a kindergartner. I found myself doing that this morning.
For the record, it was in a church setting, and while I did reference Leviticus 13, I restrained myself from reading any of the very explicit 59 verses. The actual Bible story we were focused on is found in Luke 17. Jesus is on the move and comes upon a town where there are 10 Lepers on the edge of town (where they are forced to live) and normally they have to scream at those who approach, “We’re Unclean!”
But this time, they happen to know who is approaching. It’s Jesus. He’s surrounded by a crowd. Perhaps they’d heard about the healing that Jesus performed of another man who had Leprosy (found in Matthew 8) and thought that maybe they had a chance of healing.
Sure enough, as they do get Jesus’ attention and ask for healing, he tells them to go present themselves to the priests to verify their healing.
Something struck me as I was teaching, but I didn’t follow that tangent with the kids… these are the same priests who probably denied who Jesus was. They didn’t believe him to be Messiah and would probably later ask for his crucifixion. Jesus is telling the lepers, go see these guys who know exactly what the law says with regards to leprosy and priestly duty, and when they ask how you were healed… you’ll probably have to tell them I did it.
There’s a bit of humor there that Jesus displays through scripture if you read and think about it.
But the story doesn’t end there. 1 of the 10 men realizes that he has unfinished business with Jesus. He doesn’t get far before realizing, he needs to turn around and go back to Jesus to thank him, but he wants more than just physical healing, he wants spiritual and total healing and he receives it from a compassionate Savior.
“Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19
Those of us who have been freed of sin’s punishment know that at one time, we were all living on the outskirts of town. Whether we knew we were sick or not, we were out there screaming, “We’re Unclean!” but I’m thankful that Jesus was there, heard my plea and showed mercy and grace. I’m thankful that someone who first was sick but received healing, told me that there was a guy named Jesus walking around and had the cure for my disease.