“When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.” v.14
They left their hiding place when they heard that He was passing by. They approached the gathering from a distance, for they knew they weren’t welcome. They saw Him and the multitude that followed. Was He really Messiah? Was He really the great Healer and Deliverer?
Shame and pain took over their souls, as bystander’s watched from afar, running away in disgust. The pain of rejection was worse than the agony that came from their body’s wounds.
Mercy. They needed mercy. From others. From God.
They started calling out in a timid, low voice, only to find angry eyes staring at them. They started to retreat, when one of them dared to believe. He spoke out, above the crowd’s noise:
“Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!”
Jesus stopped and turned around. Faith was calling out.
He didn’t approach them. He didn’t touch them. All He did was look at them and command: “Go… and show yourselves to the priests”.
What a strange answer to their plea! Wouldn’t He heal them as He’d done it to the leper they heard about? The Law (Lev. 13) commanded strict segregation of a person who had leprosy, for it was a graphic picture of uncleanness; therefore, showing themselves to the priest would only make sense after the healing, when they’d make an offering for the cleansing, just as Moses commanded (Lev. 14:1-32).
They looked down at their lesions and realized they were still there. They hesitated.
But what if it is indeed Messiah?
One by one, they lowered their heads, and chose to obey His command. They headed to the temple. And as they hesitantly walked away, in simple obedience, they looked down at their hands. Their jaws dropped in awe. The wounds that once plagued them, were replaced by clean, fresh skin.
We know the rest of the story – nine of the lepers went on with their lives, celebrating healing. Only the foreigner, most likely a Samaritan, understood and accepted Jesus’ divinity and went back to thank Him.
But healing came to all TEN. Why’s that?
I think I know the answer.
I don’t think that all ten lepers believed in the healing right away. I don’t believe that they leaped to the temple, knowing that healing would meet them there, for sure. I don’t think they even knew what they were doing.
They simply obeyed.
We Christians talk so much about waiting on God. Indeed, that is one of Scriptures’ most beloved subjects.
God blesses those who wait upon Him… Psalm 37:7-9
He strengthens those who wait… Isaiah 40:29-31
He loves those who wait… Lamentations 3:25-26
He rewards those who wait… Isaiah 64:4
He protects those who wait… Isaiah 49:23
There’s no question about it: Waiting is one of the hardest, yet most essential things a child of God should learn to do. But when the waiting is over and Yahweh decides it’s time to deliver, He often requires obedience as a condition for receiving the blessing.
The promises for Abraham were abundant, but none of them would have come to pass, had he chosen to stay in Chaldea. He had to leave his country and family, travel unfamiliar paths, give up his comfort, pressing on in unwavering obedience, before he would receive His promise.
Likewise for these ten lepers, healing had a price. Had they chosen to stay where they were, waiting for the promise, they would never have experienced healing. They had to obey. That simple first step of obedience brought forth their promise.
About six years ago, God put a longing in my heart to minister to women. Every time I prayed, my soul was flooded with the awareness that there was something God wanted me to do. I had no idea what it was. I prayed and shared my struggle with my closest friends and my husband. One year went by and I still had no answer. But deep down in my heart, the Holy Spirit was working. He started bringing to my attention habits that I judged harmless. I thought He wanted me to do something about it. His voice became louder and louder. In the beginning, I honestly didn’t think it was God. Rather, I thought I was being legalistic. After all, God is a God a freedom, right?
One Sunday, God used a vising pastor to speak loudly to me: “It’s not a matter of right and wrong, Patricia. It’s a matter of obedience. Will you lay it down?”
Are you going to the temple… or keep on hiding in the shadows?
That Sunday, I walked away from the presence of Yeshua and in the direction of the temple. I chose to “show myself to the priest”. I laid down my life. My desires. My understanding. I chose to blindly obey.
Less than two weeks later, God revealed to me His ministry for my life: I was to be a writer and speaker. I was scared, honestly! And I had good reasons: English is my second language. I had never written before. I had never spoken in public before.
But I chose to put my hands on the keyboard and let Him speak through me.
Because I obeyed, left the comfort of my understanding and everything that was familiar to me, choosing to blindly obey the Voice of the Promise, today I stand in awe of what He has done.
I received the promise.
But I had to leave the shadows and take the road to the temple… and, by faith, show myself to the Priest.
On the way to the temple, I was set free.
On the way to the temple, His promise met me.
So here’s my question to you today:
Are you sure you’re waiting on God?
Or could it be that He is waiting on YOU?
Your honest answer to this question could be the key to receiving your promise. Your first step of blind obedience could be what it takes to set you free.
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