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It's Not A Burden to Be a Servant

It’s Not a Burden to Be a Servant

Leprosy is discussed quite often in the Bible.  The term “leprosy” (including leper, lepers, leprosy, leprous) occurs 68 times in the Bible—55 times in the Old Testament (Hebrew = tsara’ath) and 13 times in the New Testament (Greek = lepros, lepra). In the Old Testament, the instances of leprosy most likely meant a variety of infectious skin diseases, and even mold and mildew on clothing and walls. For many centuries, leprosy was considered a curse of God, often associated with sin. It did not kill, but neither did it seem to end. Instead, it lingered for years, causing the tissues to degenerate and deforming the body.

In fact there were laws about this disease such as Leviticus 17:5“The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Many have thought leprosy to be a disease of the skin. It is better classified, however, as a disease of the nervous system because the leprosy bacterium attacks the nerves. Leprosy’s agent M. leprae is a rod-shaped bacterium related to the tuberculosis bacterium. Leprosy is spread by multiple skin contacts, as well as by droplets from the upper respiratory tracts, such as nasal secretions that are transmitted from person to person.

Its symptoms start in the skin and peripheral nervous system (outside the brain and spinal cord), then spread to other parts, such as the hands, feet, face, and earlobes. Patients with leprosy experience disfigurement of the skin and bones, twisting of the limbs, and curling of the fingers to form the characteristic claw hand. Facial changes include thickening of the outer ear and collapsing of the nose. The largest number of deformities develop from loss of pain sensation due to extensive nerve damage. For instance, inattentive patients can pick up a cup of boiling water without flinching. While people with leprosy traditionally suffered banishment from family and neighbors, Jesus broke from the tradition. He treated lepers with compassion, touching and healing them.

In Luke 17 it says this in verse 11 "On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee (he was on the way to the cross)  12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,[f] who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

He went on that road to find these lepers, and to cure them; for he is found of them that sought him not. He went to serve. After a long trip and ready for rest, he goes to be selfless, inflicted by the least of these, they were ten in a company.  They stood afar off, knowing that by the law their disease obliged them to keep their distance. unanimous, and very importunate he will be Jesus, a Savior, and not otherwise. They ask not in particular to be cured of their leprosy, but for Him to have mercy.

14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.  15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

Notice what he did.  He fell down at his feet, put himself into the most humble reverent posture he could, and gave him thanks. He remembered who he was. Full of leprosy. Full of sin. Forgiven and cleansed though he didn’t deserve it. He was an outcast of society. And Jesus made a special trip just for him.

He didn't lose his place.  Do you?

He is the Master and You are the Servant.  Do you remember that?  Do you live like that?

We are called to serve our God. 

We are called to serve one another. 

We are called to serve our City.

17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”[g]

May we be like the one who remembered.  The one who was a servant of the most high.

7 “Will any one of you who has a servant[c] plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly,[d] and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants;[e] we have only done what was our duty.’”

May we remember that we are only unworthy servants and he is the master.