The Biblical Times

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Date Submitted: 01/04/2011 04:22 PM

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In biblical times the effect was so severe and the potential for wiping out a population was so great that God laid down prescriptions. "Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper." Put him out. This is too horrific, too horrible to leave these people in any proximity to the healthy. God even used leprosy as a punishment. The Jews had a reason that they saw it as a curse of God. Naaman was a leper by divine punishment. Uz...Uzziah was a leper by divine punishment. Being a leper was the worst, and they had a lot of lepers in Israel, as Luke 4:27 says. There were many lepers in the day of Elijah and Elisha, obviously they were still there in the day of Jesus. Religiously, socially defiled in every way. No family, no job, no friends, no worship, no hope, they were walking illustrations of sin, they were walking illustrations of divine judgment. Horrific life, little wonder that when Jesus came to their village, they cried out to Him collectively.

Now as we look at the story, you're going to see an amazing story of divine goodness, tenderness, compassion, mercy. You're going to see an amazing story of divine power, to reverse that disease, to bring it to a screeching halt and restore fully all ten people to their pure and whole in the case of all of Jesus' miracles, they were instantaneous and complete. It is also an astounding story of ingratitude. Shocking. It is also a wonderful story, more importantly, of gratitude, worship and salvation.

I want us to look at the story as a story. But I can't help but think this story is intended by the Spirit of God to be more than just a story for its own sake, I have to believe that this is also a parable. Most of Jesus' parables were stories that He invented. But many other things that happened in His life are marvelous analogies and illustrations, and this certainly is one. First, the story, then we'll see its broader implications.

Verse 11, "It came about while He was on the way...