As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
Jesus Have Mercy
When did he know? When did he know that the red, irritated skin wasn’t going to get better on its own? Was it when the lesion started spreading? Was it when he noticed it on both of his arms or legs? Maybe it was when his hair started to fall out. Or perhaps when he pinched his hand in the door and realized there was no pain. Did he try to cover it up and hide it so no one would notice? When did he know that he had leprosy?
Leprosy was worse than a death sentence. It meant you had to live like you were already dead. You were traumatically ripped away from your family and friends. You were cut off and forced out of your city or village. You existed on the fringes. It was like you were invisible.
When did you know? When did you feel the pain in this life? That you were missing something? Your condition isn’t leprosy, but it is even more dangerous, even more isolating. It’s the infection of sin. Sin corrupts everything in this life. Your relationships. Your health, mental and physical. And it separates you from God.
“Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” That’s all the ten lepers could say to Jesus. It was their only hope. All you can say to Jesus is the same, “Jesus, have mercy!” And he does. Just like Jesus had mercy on those lepers, he has mercy on you. Jesus forgives you your sins, restores and redeems you.
Jesus told the lepers to show themselves to the priests. That’s it. No big show. No theatrics. But each one went, and each one was healed.
Forgiveness comes in the same way: No big show. No theatrics. Your believing heart trusts the words, “You are forgiven.” And God sees your sins no more. You’re clean and no longer separated from God because Jesus does have mercy.
Lord, give me faith to trust your words of mercy and forgiveness. Amen.