“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
What do you do when you fall? How do you deal with the failure that will inevitably come? The truth is that there is a cost to reaching out beyond your comfort zone. As we have seen in this study that following Jesus has a price. Sometimes it may seem as though you are all alone and there is no one that understands what you are going through. The easy response to that is during those times Jesus is closer than ever but unfortunately it does not always feel like He is.
There was a group of men that had dreams once upon a time. Some of them had families and all of them had friends and lives. That was until leprosy crept into their turned them into pariahs. These men died to the world that day. They were put out of the camp and not allowed to worship in the temple any more. Every time they approached anyone they would have to yell out “UNCLEAN” and turn aside. Some had surely been sinners; some could have been saints. These ten men had one thing in common they all were dead to the world and had no hope. No hope until one day they heard of a man named Jesus. It is found in Luke Chapter 17:11-19.
What led the one to return to the man that brought him back to life? Why didn’t the other nine follow his lead? In the Jewish world this man would have lost everything when the leprosy first appeared. Even the dead were treated better than he was. As soon as he realized that he had been healed he should have returned to his former life and tried to recapture what had been lost, but he did not. He turned back and came to pledge himself to the Master. He knew that from that moment on every day would be a gift and a miracle. He was awake and he would soon learn just how much his gift cost.
We are not given the name of this Samaritan, but we can hear the tenderness in the words of Jesus as He stooped to lift this former leper to his feet. We can almost hear the tears in Jesus’ eyes as he whispered the words “Your Faith has made you well.” This man had given up on his dreams and thought he could do nothing more for the world. It was the touch of the Master that changed all that.
One thing that I love to do is look for ripples or echoes in scripture. What I mean by that is when we see a scene like this where are the similar scenes in other parts of the Bible? Is this a ripple or and echo from something else or is it the original event that others seem to copy.
I would say that when Paul was sitting in that room blind and broken that he was waiting for an echo of an event that he did not even know had happened. Paul needed that touch from Jesus and it came through the hand of Ananias.
If you have not experienced a ripple from Jesus I have no doubt that once you are attuned to look for it that it will happen one day. We all make mistakes and some of them may even seem so bad that we feel that we can never do anything for God again. The truth is just the opposite, we may be knocked down but we are not defeated. We need to let God be God and follow Him in all things. Paul had these same kind of moments when he had been beaten, stoned and shipwrecked but through it all he maintained a world changing faith that allowed him to carry on.
Pastor AL Weeks and his family serve the fine folks of First Baptist Church of Kenai. FBCK is a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Please join them this Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m.