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Take a Walk

Take a Walk

Words of Faith 11-6-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 17:12-14

[12] As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance [13] and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

[14] When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.

 

      Ten lepers approached Jesus.  Bound together by their common misery, they had forgotten about the border and arguments between the cultures of the area.  In desperation they cried out.

     Jesus responded in mercy to the plea of the ten lepers.  It is interesting what Jesus did not do as a part of this healing.  He did not ask for a verbal commitment of faith.  He did not have an altar call. He did not call for surrender.  He did not ask for confession or call for repentance.  He also did not fix them on the spot.  He told them to go for a walk. 

      Jesus instructed the ten lepers to walk to Jerusalem and visit the special priests that were trained to detect leprosy.  It was at least a day or two journey to get to Jerusalem!  The Temple had developed a sort of health department which had certain priests who were specialists at determining if a person had leprosy.  These priests determined who would be outcast from the community if a spot appeared on their skin.  It was a requirement of the law that a leper would visit these priests and make a special offering before returning home. 

      Leprosy was a horribly disfiguring disease but the social implications were even worse.  A leper was cast out of the village and forced to live among other lepers.  Lepers had to wear bells, tear their clothing, and call out to any they approached a warning. "Unclean! Unclean!"  Many rabbis attributed the disease to personal sin and lepers were without and spiritual connection or support.

      It must have seemed a bit futile to hike a day or more to the health department of the Temple while these men were still obviously sick.  But this was the journey of faith.  Jesus did not fix them immediately but he told them to being the journey. The scripture says that "as they went" they were cleansed. As they walked in a faith relationship they were healed. 

     Jesus called these men to the same sort of journey He was on.  Jesus was walking by faith toward Jerusalem and a very frightening destiny trusting completely in His Father.  As they went to the priests in accordance with the law, they were cleansed.  This would be powerful testimony to the priests of what was to come.  Only Messiah could cleanse a person of leprosy. But mostly this was a reminder that we are cleaned on our way on the journey. 

      We often get confused about the purpose of the church on the way. We tend to think the purpose of the church is to fix people or repair their circumstances.  But, in fact, it is the activity of the church to invite people to walk by faith.  No, this does not mean that everyone is physically healed at the church but they are healed on the way and in God's way. When and how a person is healed is up to God. 

      The church on the way should challenge us to walk in faith in some ways that we have never walked before.  These ten lepers were challenged to go and be a witness to the hardest people in the world for them to be a witness to, the leper checkers. 

       Have you started your journey?  We don't have to have it all together in order to start.  No one does.  We don't have to articulate all the right doctrine or have all the answers.  We don't have to make ourselves clean.  We can't do that.  All we need is to being walking in obedience to Jesus in the direction He gives us. 

 

       Father help me to hear clearly the direction of Jesus.  I want to walk the journey of faith.  Help me to live out way of Jesus as I extend His invitation to others.  In Jesus' name.