Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 115

The First Leper to Be Cleansed by Christ

This chapter is based on Matthew 8:2-4; 9:1-8, 32-34; Mark 1:40-45; 2:1-12; Luke 5:12-28.

Of all diseases known in the East, leprosy was most dreaded. Its incurable and contagious character and its horrible effect on its victims filled the bravest with fear. The Jews regarded it as a judgment for sin, calling it “the finger of God.” It was looked upon as a symbol of sin.

Like someone already dead, the leper was shut out from any place that people occupied. Whatever he touched was unclean. The air was polluted by his breath. Anyone suspected of having the disease must present himself to the priests. If they declared him a leper, he was doomed to associate only with other lepers. The law was inflexible. Kings and rulers were not exempt.

The leper must bear the curse apart from friends and family. He was required to announce his calamity and sound the alarm, warning everyone to avoid his contaminating presence. The cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” coming in mournful tones from the lonely exile was a signal people heard with fear and revulsion.

News of Christ’s work reached many of these sufferers, igniting a gleam of hope. But since the days of Elisha, no one had ever seen a leper cleansed. There was one man, however, in whose heart faith began to spring up. Yet how could he present himself to the Healer? And would Christ heal him? Would He take notice of one who was suffering the judgment of God? Would He pronounce a curse on him?

The leper thought of all that people had told him about Jesus. Not one who had gone to Him for help had been turned away. The suffering man determined to find the Savior. Perhaps he could cross His path in some remote place along the mountain roads or as He was teaching outside the towns. This was his only hope.

The leper was guided to the Savior as He taught beside the lake. Standing far away, the leper caught a few words from the Savior’s lips. He saw Him laying His hands on the sick, the lame, the blind, and the paralyzed, and those who had been dying of various illnesses rose up and praised God for their deliverance. Faith strengthened in his heart. He went closer, forgetting the restrictions laid on him and the fear

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