And called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (Luke 17:13)

WE ARE ALL LEPERS, spiritually speaking. Sure, we have no idea what it was like to be an actual leper in the ancient Middle East. Yet like them, we bear the marks of the disease on our hearts, minds, and spirits. We are born into a state known as sinfulness, which we have all inherited from Adam. Separation from the Source of Life is necessarily a terminal condition that can only be cured if Jesus reaches out and connects us by faith to Him.

“How much faith is enough?” you ask. A legitimate question (or so it would seem). Yet Christ’s response to His disciples indicated that it’s not the amount but whether your faith is the Spirit-empowered genuine article that makes the difference.

Though we don’t actually do it, we could rightly call out (as lepers did then),”Unclean! Unclean!” Lepers were quarantined and forced to live away from everyone else. We have been driven out of the garden where the Lord God walked in our midst. We are all still made in His image, but in sin we have pushed ourselves to places where (without His intervention) we would only see from a distance enough of His nature to condemn us.

So we must each call upon the Lord Jesus to have mercy on us. Only by Christ’s merciful reach will we be drawn to Him and made clean . . . and alive.

Recognize any inclination toward independence from God, and then repent and reach back to God’s love.

Steve Johnson teaches at United Christian Academy in Stanardsville, Virginia, and frequently preaches at area churches. He enjoys life with his wife and five-year-old son.