Nena Arias | October 2, 2023
“Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
The disease of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a long-term infection and is often mentioned in the Bible as a hideous illness that is so unpleasant to look upon or to be around. Lepers had to be isolated from the rest of the healthy population to keep from contamination, which of course we now know that even though it is contagious, it is not as highly contagious as believed and it happens through extensive contact.
Leprosy leads to nerve damage, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. The nerve damage may result in a lack of ability to feel pain, which can lead to loss of parts of a person’s extremities from repeated injury. The symptoms may begin within one year but may take up to 20 years for more to occur. In times past leprosy was incurable but now it is curable with multidrug therapy lasting from six months to a year.
There is no better example to compare us as sinners like lepers. We have leprosy of the soul, and we can definitely read the law of the leper in the book of Leviticus as applicable to us. Sin completely ruins us when we are covered all over with the defilement of sin, and with no part free from pollution. But when we disclaim all righteousness of our own and plead guilty before the Lord, we are cleansed through the blood of Jesus and the abundant grace of God.
When we try to hide our unconfessed iniquity is that true leprosy takes hold of our soul and spreads to the depths of our being. It is only when sin is seen and felt that it receives its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul burdened with it.
Nothing is more deadly than pretending self-righteousness or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess and agree with God and our adversary that we are nothing else but sin, anything short of this will not be the whole truth. If we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us, and convict us of sin, there will be no hindrance in making such an acknowledgment because we will melt in the light of his holiness—confession and repentance will burst overflowingly from our lips.
A deep sense of regret of sin and confessed openly before the Father, even though we may be embarrassed and look very bad, it is the first step toward being cleansed and God will never shut a person away from the Lord Jesus. He says, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37). As immoral as we may be like many examples in the Bible of people that God forgave, he will do the same for us.
God’s great heart of love, compassion and grace will look upon the person who feels himself to have no health in him and will pronounce him clean. He says, “Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
He knows we can only come to him poor, needy, filthy, and overburdened with sin. We must come to him just as we are with a contrite heart, we cannot pretend otherwise, but he is always willing to cleanse us of the leprosy of sin that affected our heart and declare us clean through Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer. Praise God for his abundant mercy that receives us in that fallen state and transforms us into brand new creations in Christ!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)