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Reflections: The Leper Within

CC image by Sean MacEntee on Flickr

Most of the time, I find technology amazing. On Sunday, though, I wished one of our friends was a little more low-tech. Chris’s sermon on Sunday was on Jesus healing the leper at the end of Mark 1. We sat with another young married couple, and the husband had his iPad with the Bible on it. When Chris described in detail the horrors of leprosy, our friend decided to do a quick Google image search of the disease… Yikes!

So when Chris went on to say we as Christians need to “imitate the leper,” all I could think about was the images of oozing skin sores. That didn’t look like something I wanted to imitate!

Looking at my notes, I saw that Chris actually said “Imitate the leper’s HEART.” The ugly truth is that I didn’t need instruction on how to imitate the leper’s disfigurements. As a sinner, my heart was marred by my sins, and I was as repulsive as a leper. My heart leaps with joy that, just like the leper, Christ rescued me while I was still a disfigured sinner (Romans 5:8).

Even having been saved from my former state of disfigurement, I still have much to learn about having a heart like the leper from Mark 1. I can forget my helplessness and not come to him in confidence, need, reverence, humility and faith. Out of that list, humility is one that I struggle with fairly consistently. To combat this sin in my heart, I go back to Romans 5, where I am labeled as “helpless,” “ungodly,” “sinner” and “enemy.” Once I understand my true nature and position without God, then I can rejoice and celebrate the rest of Romans 5, knowing that “Christ died for us,” and I am “justified by His blood” and “reconciled to God.”

The only way I can have a heart like the leper is by living in the reality of the gospel every day. What are some of the Bible passages that help you have a leper’s heart?

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