Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Healed and grateful... My desire for you all.

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers 
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
~Luke 17:11-19
When we read this story we are forced to recognise that in this world a human can only fall into 1 of 3 different categories.  Either we are a;
  1. Sick and dying leper
  2. Healed and ungrateful person
  3. Healed and grateful person
That's it, there's no fourth option - no "healthy person" category... no excuses or cop outs.  The simple fact is that everyone at some point or another has been a sick and dying leper... or a human in a state of death, dying from a disease called sin. No one has ever been healthy, we are born already infected with this sin disease - it's not as visible as leprosy, but sin is just as deadly.  

When God created the world He created it to be in line with His own nature, and His very nature is perfect, there in nothing within God (and can be nothing within God) that is not good.  However God is also full of love which in itself includes the choice to show love (love can only be real if it is freely given), hence our world was created with the ability to love, which must include the ability to not love (or love is worthless).  The choice to love ourselves first must mean we choose to not love God as a first priority, and this is not good.  This is sin, any choice made not to put God or His will first.  Once sin enters the realm then we can never be healthy, for we have all sinned, which is not good, and nothing not good can be associated with God.

 But this was not how God planned His creation to be - and His love is true, genuine and enduring.  So He enacted a way to make things good again.  The only person who would be worthy of paying the penalty for sin was someone who had never sinned (a criminal can't pay the sentence for another criminal can he? That would defeat the purpose of justice). No mere human could do that, but a human must pay that price... so God became human, He limited His divinity and Jesus was born, without the disease of sin since Mary was a virgin and Jesus' conception was a divine intervention.

Jesus lived a perfect life, He is the only one who can say He was 'healthy' in regard to sin, but He then offered himself in our place, He died the death that our disease was driving us towards. On the cross our disease was placed on Jesus, so much so that God could not be with Jesus (God saw Jesus [Himself] as not good, because of our sin).  The substitution was made, the disease was conquered because God, having paid the price, rose to life and set Himself in authority.

So just as Jesus healed the lepers in the passage above, He can now healed our sin disease.  The lepers had faith Jesus would heal them, they asked for mercy.  That is how we are healed as well, turning to Jesus, repenting of that sin that causes so much trouble and asking Jesus for His mercy to save us.

But just like all ten lepers were healed and only one realised he needed to show thanks, we do the same thing.  We accept that forgiveness, that saving grace, and we go on focusing on our lives. We are ungrateful.  We must take the example of the one leper, and we must seek Jesus out again and be thankful always for what He did for us.  Anything less is cheapening the sacrifice Jesus made for us, it is simply rude to not be thankful, to show Jesus' worth through worship and letting the emotion of it totally encompass our entire lives.

Where are you today? Are you still sick? Know Jesus can heal you.  Are you ungrateful, nonchalant, ignorant, stale or bored? Focus once again on the sacrifice - don't let your humanness or your independence or selfishness get in the way of your thankfulness.

Stop right now, turn to Jesus, and be thankful... worship Him!

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