Categories: Sermons

Meditate On This: Man with Leprosy

Meditate On This

Luke 5 begins with the calling of the first disciples. It’s a powerful story about fisherman that meet Jesus and, because of this encounter, are encouraged to cast their nets out one last time. Upon doing this, they catch their biggest catch ever and they leave it. They leave everything behind in order to follow this man whom they have just met because he says, “From now on you will fish for people.”

Luke 5 continues in v.12 with Jesus coming upon a man covered with leprosy. Although this was likely not the modern diagnosis of leprosy, it was still a skin disorder that likely disconnected him from his community. In Jesus’ world, they lived by the teachings found in Leviticus 13-15, which outlined the rules associated with individuals who had skin conditions. An individual would go to a priest, have his/her skin examined, and then be deemed clean or unclean. If you were unclean, you were often removed from your friends, family, and community.

This is likely the situation for the man in Luke 5:12. He’s alone, abandoned, and disconnected. The world has told him that he isn’t clean and that he isn’t good enough to be around those he cares about. Can you imagine feeling like that? Overlooked? Forgotten? But everything changes when the man sees Jesus, because Jesus sees him, too. This individual has been forgotten and overlooked by the world, but Jesus sees him. And more than that, Jesus touches this man. Touching someone would have, based on the law, made Jesus unclean too. But guess what? Jesus does it. And it’s likely the first human contact this man had in a very long time.

It is clear that the miracle in this story is the healing of this man’s skin. But the message underneath all of that is how important it is to see people the way that Jesus did. It’s so easy to look at people and see their faults and blemishes, just as the world does. But Jesus doesn’t do that. Jesus sees people as individuals made in the image of God. Yes, those individuals (and us too) may have faults and sins, but those are the faults and sins Christ took to the cross for us all.