Michel: Grateful leper set example to follow

Published 12:02 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

It was a terrible condition.

The disease, which isolated its victims, didn’t travel alone, for the mention of the word brought fear, dread and despair. As soon as the first white patches appeared on the skin, terror swept through the unfortunate and his entire family. Leprosy.

The leper was sent away, forever, without a kiss, a handshake, a hug or even a pat on the back.

No touching allowed. In addition, the leper was to tear his clothes, leave his hair unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and, should he ever come near the healthy, he was to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!”

Doomed to a miserable existence difficult to call a life, lepers were forced to dwell outside of the community.

Enter Jesus.

Ten lepers saw Him. Despite their instructions, their past shouts of “Unclean!” and their present condition, they “called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’” (Luke 17:13.)

Jesus said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests,” and the lepers had enough faith in Jesus that they began to walk toward the priests. They knew that Jesus was their only hope and in their desperation, they didn’t stop and question His instructions. They obeyed and were healed on the way.

What a scene that must have been! Ten men suddenly realizing that they would no longer be forced to live shunned and among the diseased. But the Bible only records the actions of one man.

Before returning to his family and running into his now bright future, the grateful man went back to Jesus, bowed in worship to the One Who changed everything, and thanked Him. “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?’” (Luke 17:15-17)

This Thanksgiving, I want to follow in the steps of the grateful leper. I want to be the one to return to Jesus and thank Him for all He has done. My personal challenge is maintain continual appreciation and live with an attitude of gratitude.

Now that’s a wonderful condition.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.