Gary Monks, asking us whether we are thankful or forgetful, ruminates on our forebears who, though initially grateful, soon forgot the display of His gracious power as He rescued them from Egyptian bondage. The episode of the healing of the ten lepers, with only one returning to express thankfulness, underscores the ingratitude so endemic in human nature. Nine took the miracle of their healing for granted. Do we, as God's called out ones, appreciate our redemption from sin? Do we appreciate the blessing of a sound mind which God's Holy Spirit produces? Paul identified ingratitude as a prevalent character trait of people living in the last days. We cannot let the world and its ways rub off on us. God challenges us to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who gave thanks in everything, including horrendous trials. Jesus knew what He was going through, but also knew what was ahead, trusting His Father. Similarly, we must remember that all things work together for good for those called according to God's purpose.
Christ's healing of ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) stands as a significant sign of His divinity, as it was widely known that only God could heal leprosy. Martin Collins unpacks this scene, explaining that Jesus' interaction with the one leper who returned in gratitude teaches a great deal about faith and spiritual blessings.
Bill Onisick asks us to imagine a hypothetical situation in which we picture ourselves as an olive grower in biblical times who contracts the horrible, wasting disease of leprosy. After confirmation of the symptoms from the high priest, we become isolated from our family and the community. We despair of every feeling the touch of another human being. As a rotting putrefying hulk, we receive new hope as we learn of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. As we prostrate ourselves, imploring Christ to take away the disease, we receive the joy of instantaneous healing and the wonderful feeling of being able to experience the touch of another human being again. In the accounts in Luke and Mark describing perhaps the first healing of leprosy in Israel since Naaman, Christ cautions the cleansed leper not to broadcast the account of his healing publicly, but instead go through the purification ritual outlined in Leviticus. By violating this request, the cleansed leper increased his public mobility but in effect ostracized Jesus Christ, limiting his mobility. There are multiple parallels in the purification ritual in Leviticus and our cleansing from sin, which we could compare to spiritual leprosy. Like leprosy, because sin renders our conscience dead and insensitive, we are not aware of its onset until it is literally wasting us, bringing about dismemberment, isolation and death. Christ took on all of our horrible infirmities, trading His place with us. As spiritual lepers, we can confidently reach out to Christ, and he will cleanse us.
Jesus' healing of the leper in Mark 1:40-45 exhibits His compassion for those suffering the repulsive effects of sin. Martin Collins examines how the cleansing of this horribly diseased man parallels the spiritual cleansing that prepares us for salvation.
The leper who approached Jesus for healing provides us a good example of how we, too, can come before Him for help. Martin Collins examines five vital character traits that we can learn to apply in seeking God's aid.
Leprosy is a horrible, disfiguring disease, one that the ancients said could only be cured by an act of God Himself. Martin Collins shows that Jesus' healing of a leper manifested His divine power and mercy.
Leprosy is a gruesome disease, in which an infected person progressively rots and falls to pieces before his eyes. The leper's healing by Jesus teaches that, while Jesus freely healed the man, his cleansing was not really free, and the gift he was told to present to the priests contains vital instruction for all.
The peace offering teaches many things, but one of its main symbols is fellowship. John Ritenbaugh explains that our communion with the Father and the Son obligates us to pursue peace, follow the example of Christ, and be pure.
John Ritenbaugh draws parallels between earthy (or physical) and spiritual things. The cleanliness laws in Leviticus, prescribing washing, cleansing, and quarantine procedures, apply to the spiritual dimension as well. God will not tolerate uncleanness, either spiritually or physically. Spiritual sin and filth (physical or spiritual) is the primary contributory cause in devastating diseases such as AIDS or E. Coli contamination. We, as priests-in-training, have the sobering responsibility of keeping our bodies, our quarters, our thoughts, and behaviors clean and pure. Like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we need to flee uncleanness wherever the source.
Richard Ritenbaugh warns that individuals arrogating to themselves the authority to change doctrine are on extremely dangerous ground, presumptuously or boldly setting up idols in place of God. We dare not put words into God's mouth. The work of God in the latter days is to turn the people from their sin and back to God. Any other work is either window dressing or directly contrary to God. The consequences of presumptuous (intentional) sins are far more deadly and permanent than for sins committed in ignorance (unintentional). Presumptuousness equates to competition with God, following in the footsteps of Satan. The antidote to presumption is to 1) submit to God, 2) remain humble, and 3) wait for Him to exalt us.
Comparing God's true ministers to false ministers—and seeing their fruit—reveals how the church must be revived spiritually. And "sneezing" plays a major role!
When the mixed multitude came out of Egypt with Israel, God gave them an opportunity to join His chosen people. Charles Whitaker weaves together some vital lessons for us from this.
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