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Showing posts from December, 2017

He Still Touches Lepers

Jesus seldom spent much time in one city.  He was constantly travelling from town to town, meeting all kinds of people. On his travels he and his disciples came across a leper. The Koine Greek word for leprosy can refer to any number of different skin diseases. 
A leper was ostracized from the life of the community. The Old Testament commands that when people come in contact with a leper, the leper is to identify himself by covering his upper lip and yelling out “Unclean, unclean.”  Lepers had to stand fifty paces away from everyone.  To touch a leper was to become unclean yourself.  If they entered a house, the house became unclean.  If they walked under a tree, the tree would become unclean.  One commentator writes, leprosy was not so much an illness as it was a sentence. Imagine not knowing, for years perhaps, the touch of another human being: a hug, a handshake, even a pat on the back.  To feel so utterly alone, different and broken.  Josephus the historian writes, there is no diff…