By Donna Milham
Matthew 8:1-4 THE LEPER
When Jesus saw the leper who was crying out for mercy to be healed, he did not label him a ‘leper’ – that was a disease the man had, but it was not his identity.
The culture he lived in gave him the label ‘leper’ which is actually true in the sense that he had this disease. BUT this was more than a physical disease label, it became a cultural label causing him and others to be isolated, cut off, untouchable – living lives estranged from the flow of friendships, family, love, being in the market, buying food, holding babies, celebrating weddings, crying at funerals, simply being in public community.
The Lord saw them in their current condition and He saw them totally healed and made whole – both within and without.
With the disease of leprosy brought also disease of the heart – isolation, rejection, self hatred, jealousy, anger, pity – think of it – what would you be doing, feeling, thinking and how would your life be – picture it – really picture it?
Without Christ it would have been a living nightmarish hell each and every day – watching your body waste away and what was once your life, never ever being again, loss, the reality of daily loss! The hopes and dreams of your heart never to be realized.
When Jesus touched the lepers and healed them He restored their bodies, their souls and hearts and restored them first to the relationship they most deeply needed – a Father in Heaven who loved them just as they are and then healed them – within and without.
This amazing healing touch then allowed them to be restored to the relationships with those they had been separated from. The God of restoration was present and in their midst!
Can you imagine them knocking on a door of their friends or family totally made whole, can you feel the tears, hear the celebration and consider the wave of ‘revival’ that would go through that town?
I once was a leper…….but now……!
We can label people ‘spiritual lepers’ and not even realize it.
We can place people in compartments and not even be aware of it.
Jesus did not compartmentalize this man’s disease – he looked at his whole life and how it was devastated and brought healing into his whole life.
How we label ourselves, how we see God views us and how we view others affects our lives, both good and bad.
Jesus was the ultimate example, living His life on earth as the Son of God, the first born of many, our elder brother and yet our Savior!
He showed us how to live without compartments and how to not label ourselves or others.
Yet at the same time, to call each other what God calls us and to see ach other as He sees us.
To live our lives in the fullness of HIS LABEL UPON US and that is a label that embraces us fully – no compartments . He does not break us up into little pieces of identity – but one label in which all of our being flows out of – who we are – sons of God!
I am a son of God who from that place is a mother, daughter, friend, pastor, teacher, worshiper, sailor, writer, gardener, etc……..
Who do you say you are? What labels must you take off that are not your true identity and allow only how God sees you and calls you to come into your heart, spirit and soul? Let Him show you as you wait with Him, for your destiny awaits your stepping into the fullness of who you are in Him!