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Enough Faith to Come to Jesus

Luke 17:11-14
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed. (NIVUK)

Leprosy, in Jesus' day, was very much feared.  The word probably covered a group of skin diseases, in addition to modern-day leprosy, which were considered so infectious that the sufferers were totally excluded from normal society (2 Chronicles 26:21).  They had to live outside the towns, separated from their families and were not allowed to join in worship at the synagogue or the temple.

The only society they could have was with other lepers.  Being on the skin, the diseases were obvious and socially difficult to hide.  The diagnosis was made by priests who had Leviticus chapters 13-14 as their medical textbook, written by Moses under God's instruction!  And only the priests could declare a person fit again, if the signs of the disease disappeared.

As Jesus was passing one of these leper communes, ten of them came out to see Him.  Without getting close to Him, they shouted out, loudly begging Jesus to have mercy on them.  It was the most common call of help to Jesus (Matthew 9:27; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 17:15).  There was no healing service; Jesus knew their hearts’ faith in Him and He simply told them to report to the priests.  And even though they were covered in diseased skin, they believed in Jesus, accepted His authoritative word and set off to find the priests.  As they went on their way, they noticed that their skin had become quite normal.  Jesus had healed them!

What would have happened if they had not come to meet Jesus?  Nothing!  They would have remained outcasts, blighted by disease.  How they had heard about Jesus we do not know, but we do know that they believed that He had the authority to deal with their problem.  Because they believed, they came to Him, they called for mercy, they listened to His command, and they obeyed.  It is the way everybody has to come if they are to be welcomed into fellowship with God. They just need enough faith to come as they are, with all their sin, simply asking for mercy, believing His Word and being willing to obey His commands. It is the same today: this is the simple gospel route after hearing that Jesus is Good News … we recognise our need and we trust Jesus enough to ask for His mercy, and then we choose to obey Him.  Let us not make trusting Jesus more complicated.   

Dear Lord. Thank You that You do not demand anything from sinners except willingness to come to Jesus and ask for mercy. I am sorry when I have made faith too complicated for myself, and for others. Thank You that I can come to You simply, confessing my sins, and be assured of Your cleansing. Please enable me to give this straightforward message to my friends and colleagues, so that they can also find peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams