Ellen G. White Writings

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From Heaven With Love, Page 169

Chapter 27—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. Among the Jews it was regarded as a judgment on account of sin, and hence “the finger of God.” It was looked upon as a symbol of sin.

Like one already dead, the leper was shut out from the habitations of men. Whatever he touched was unclean. The air was polluted by his breath. One suspected of having the disease must present himself to the priests. If pronounced a leper, he was doomed to associate only with those similarly afflicted. The law was inflexible. Kings and rulers were not exempt.

Away from friends and kindred, the leper must bear the curse. He was obliged to publish his calamity and sound the alarm, warning all to flee his contaminating presence. The cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” coming in mournful tones from the lonely exile was a signal heard with fear and abhorrence.

News of Christ's work reached many of these sufferers, kindling a gleam of hope. But since the days of Elisha such a thing had never been known as the cleansing of one upon whom this disease had fastened. 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 notice one believed to be suffering the judgment of God? Would He pronounce a curse on him?

The leper thought of all that had been told him of Jesus.

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