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From a Distance

“As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Luke 17:12-13

They were doing what they were supposed to do as lepers as instructed in Levitical code—keep their distance. But from a distance, they knew it was Jesus. As a group of ten, they could collectively cry out to him, and no doubt, Jesus would hear them.

What kind of mercy were they seeking? Maybe alms for the poor, for they were sure to be beggars being outcast to the outer edges of village life. Healing? Forgiveness? Maybe they felt God had punished them with this shamed illness.

Of course, we know that Jesus, from a distance, heals them. They are made clean again.

These days, you might not “see” Jesus, but He sees you and knows your heart and your struggle and when you feel “distant” from others.

Jesus is sure to be found most poignantly in those isolated places where people have been kept from a distance because of their illness or shunned circumstance. We tend to keep those at a distance whose “conditions” or whose “strangeness” or unusual experience we fear or are unfamiliar.

Jesus shows us otherwise. He hears the cries for mercy. He heals our mind, body and spirit. He welcomes all into His presence, His kingdom.

Make a list of people who may be isolated from others because of their circumstance. How can you follow Christ by sharing God’s love with them?


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