“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan” Luke 17:11-16
Many of us are going through some sickness or the other. Some are battling serious illnesses and other are in deadlock situations with no solutions in sight. I just want to turn our minds to the incident narrated by Luke where Jesus heals 10 lepers to draw some lessons for us.
This healing is not dramatic. To give you a background, lepers were not allowed within the village, but used to live in a leper colony outside the village. So the Lord was passing through two state borders – between Samaria and Galilee. There he encounters these lepers, immediately on seeing him, they all run to him. As you know in those days, medical technologies were zero, hence these had no hope for their situation. When they meet Jesus hope springs forth, and they cry unto him for help. And the Lord responds immediately, Go show yourselves to the priests. According to the Old testament laws, if a leper is healed he is supposed to go to the Jewish Priest who will examine him and certify his healing. As a Thanksgiving to God, he is also supposed to offer sacrifices. The sacrifices itself reveal Christ (two birds are taken, one bird is killed and the other bird set free), which we will go into it at some other time.
First, the lepers believe the Lord. They start moving towards the city, 2 km they walk, nothing happens, some chaps begin to doubt, another 2 km they walk and nothing happens. The sceptics begin to doubt, but the others pull him along. And then when they are closer to the city, suddenly everybody is healed. And one of them runs back to Jesus and falls at his feet and Thanks him. And he is a Samaritan, a foreigner, whereas the Jews were ungrateful.
I don’t know what situation you are in, but hear the voice of the Lord and start moving in the direction he tells you. I believe you will experience some solution or some measure of healing. It could even be an office situation, or a personal deadlock, please take heed to the Holy Spirit and start the car. Once you are on your way, the solutions will come forth. Christ always gave instructions and once followed it, the results came.
Once, he told his disciples go to the crossroads outside the city, you will find 2 donkeys tied, bring them here etc. If they sat there thinking, how will the Lord know if two donkeys are there or two elephants, what if the owners slap us, or what if we faint on the way. You will only be what ifffing the rest of your life. Another time Jesus told his disciples to go to a certain locality and you will find a man carrying a jar of water, enter that house and speak to the owner and prepare the Pascha feast. What if these fellows thought, there will never be a man carrying water (which was usually a woman’s job in those days) and they went to Hotel Jerusalem Marriott and booked rooms for the Passover, they would have lost it all. Faith means action and implicit obedience.
Also I want to stress two other methods/processes in healing. Many times healing comes when the Lord changes the outward circumstances or people. It could be reigning in a cantankerous colleague, or a long awaited court Judgement, or solution to a thorny problem. It could even be an answered prayer, that’s pending long. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a Tree of Life. Prov 13:12. Once that solution or answer comes, it will bring joy to many people When John was born to Zechariah and Elizabeth, neighbours, friends and cousins rejoiced.
At other times, you may not have the hope for your particular situation. But as you thank the Lord for various other things, suddenly the breakthrough comes. A Spirit of Thanksgiving always breaks the cycle of oppression. Just take your Hymn book and sing a few songs and thank the Lord for what He’s done for you. I surely believe some balm will be there from Heaven for you. That’s why Paul tells us by Prayer, Supplication and Thanksgiving make your requests made known to God. We all know prayers, but supplication is making out a proper case. It’s like a lawyer putting together a solid argument, but compassionately. Like the way Abraham argued for his cousin Lot. Slowly, slowly he put the Lord in a spot and Jesus had to agree to Abraham’s request. Or the way Daniel argued for return from Captivity in Daniel 9. Many Davidic Psalms are fabulous examples too. This week, try Supplication if you will. It’s very different from prayer.
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs, I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4.
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