This week I was led to read about the time Jesus healed ten lepers. (According to an online dictionary, the word leper is a person who is suffering from the modern day disease of leprosy. To provide a little background knowledge, a leper was considered to be unclean; therefore, he or she had to remain in isolation or announce their presence because they were contagious.)
Luke 17:11-19 ESV states, “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.”
I imagine that if Jesus were to make that statement today, someone would ask, “Why does he have to mention his race? What difference does it make if he is a foreigner?” To be honest, I can hear myself asking that same question. Well, I am here to tell you, Nicole that it makes all the difference in the world.
God allowed Jesus to encounter a man that was not accepted by the ” pure”Jewish people. He was a Samaritan, who was considered to be a half breed, and he was plagued with a disease that separated him from society. Yet, he was the one out of ten who honored Jesus by praising our Father in Heaven. So, sometimes you only have one to reflect upon.
As that sentence settled into my spirit, I thought about an article that I read a couple of years ago. It said, “People who only have one friend or one experience to reflect upon, concerning another race, is more than likely a racist.” In fact, everytime someone says, “I’m not a racist, I have a ___________ friend or I had a positive experience with a ___________ person, so I can’t be racist,” I automatically put them in a racist box and taped it shut. Maybe some of you can relate.
Well, I am here to tell you that I made a terrible mistake. I allowed the world to align my heart posture. I allowed the world to develop my thought process. I allowed the world to give me permission to judge someone else’s experience. Like Jesus, on the way to Jerusalem, maybe you only had one positive encounter along the way. Maybe that encounter only lasted for a brief moment or maybe it turned into a life long friendship. Maybe that encounter is a part of someone’s testimony. A testimony that truly is rooted in love. A testimony that is rooted in compassion. We have to be careful, not to silence someone in the midst of their testimony. I know it’s tempting when you see people reaching back in their memory bank to defend themselves when their back is against the wall. You want to call them out for talking about a person they met briefly twenty years ago. However, I need you to resist the temptation to discredit them based on an article that you read or a feeling that you have because there’s deliverance in their testimony. If they can recall a time in their lives when they showed love and compassion toward someone along the way, that’s proof that they can do it again. Come on Saints!
The fact is: we must be like Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. We have to stop, take time to acknowledge our brothers and sisters’ circumstances, and give them the love and compassion that the Father gives us every day. Just think about it. Then, go to the Father and pray about it.
#Soul Searching With Our Father#