New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
40 A man with leprosy[a] came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was filled with compassion. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
This is probably the heaviest topic ever brought to the LBC for a Friday topic and I don’t pretend to really know the answer. I would proffer a few ideas I’ve considered.
First, if the point was to heal all lepers, you would assume it would not stop there as all illness should be healed. That begs the question of why a Creator would create or allow the illnesses in the first place, then.
Perhaps, if you believe in God, you might believe that a life is a learning situation. Why does a child not have the teacher solve all math problems for him? Because it is in the effort and the solution that the child learns and develops.
There is a similar approach to the question, to consider the idea of karma, which is not simply reward and punishment as many take it. It is a dynamic system within which consciousness develops understanding through experience. Growth, effort, ignorance and error – all go into the generation of associated experiences on the eternal path to the light.
One challenge on that path could be leprosy. It might be an affliction for a person of little compassion to experience what it actually feels like from the inside so that he or she might develop understanding and compassion. For another, it might be an opportunity to serve a community of one’s fellow passengers on the journey. Thus, leprosy would have no single meaning applicable to all.
And, if a fully realized expression of Consciousness appears – Christ in this case - perhaps the simple, humble request for healing or the rock solid belief that one CAN be healed is an essential truth finding expression. Christ often emphasized belief as an essential element in what we think of as miracles. Maybe the truth fully realized really does set you free.
All that I know with certainty is that the ultimate mystery of life has brought me to this question with these perspectives (and others unspoken). Beyond that, at least today, it is not mine to say. I just know that the suffering of many is experienced as very real.
This topic was brought to us by the Magpie.