Contemplating Jesus


Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

Jean-Marie Melchior Doze (1827-1913) "Jesus Healing the Leper"

Those lost to suffering and afflictions, and instantly healed by encountering Jesus, reacted in various ways.   Some, like the man possessed by the demon, Legion,  begged to join  Jesus’ followers, while others praised God for the miracle of their restored health, their liberation from disease.  But of the ten lepers Jesus instructed to show themselves to the priests – and were healed on their way – only one came back.  He was a Samaritan, who “prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” (Luke l7.16).  Jesus enquired about the other nine.  Where were they?  Did only one return to give praise to God?

If you are made clean from a disease that ostracizes you from your home, community and society for life, what does it take to thank the one who aided your renewal? However, Jesus doesn’t ask for personal gratitude: just praise for God’s intercession.  But maybe there’s more.   Healing is not  a one-way completion: it’s a return to some way new.  Being cured from a serious illness is not an ending, it is a beginning.  It’s a new potential for a loving, closer relationship with God, first with prayers of gratitude and praise, and subsequently with a desire to share with others, or serve those less fortunate.  It is a turn-around in one’s life towards humble graciousness and a generous heart.

The youngest of the Brontë sisters, wrote these words during her final illness:-

“…let me serve Thee from my heart,
Whate’er may be my written fate:
Whether thus early to depart,
Or yet a while to wait.

If thou shouldst bring me back to life,
More humbled I should be;
More wise, more strengthened for the strife,
More apt to lean on Thee.”

From Anne Brontë’s Last Lines

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