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, t
The lamp-posts are poetical...the lamp-post really has the whole poetry of man, for no other creature can lift a flame so high and guard it so well. --G K Chesterton, London Times July 24, 1909.