February 22, 2016: Someone Excluded
In a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy (v. 12, KJV).
Within a chapter of his reference to Elisha healing a leper, Jesus is himself doing the same. Although both the sick men were “outsiders,” the point about Naaman in the Old Testament is that he was “outside” primarily because he was foreign. But the point about this man in the Gospel of Luke is that he was “outside” simply because of his leprosy.
Perhaps that is why the wording of verse 12 seems to express shocked surprise. The King James translation sticks closer to Luke’s original than most: “Behold a man full of leprosy,” as if to say, “Will you look at that, a leper! Here, in town?” Like every sufferer from such disease, this man had been shut out from his local community, his home, and his family, to live in wretched isolation. He was not supposed to be in the town. Perhaps he had crept back into it surreptitiously, desperate to find the Jesus he had heard about, the only one he believed capable of healing him.
To everyone else he was an untouchable, literally beyond the pale. But not even this man was beyond the reach of the Savior of the world. None of us is, no matter what our spiritual condition.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you have reached out even to me.
Today’s devotional was written by Michael Wilcock, a retired pastor in the Church of England. This Lenten series comes from Words of Hope, whose mission is to build the church in the hard places through media. To learn more about the organization or subscribe to Words of Hope’s daily devotions, visit www.woh.org.