It’s not surprising that crowds connected with Jesus’ healing ministry. I would have been there. You?
I find that there’s a sneaky element in these healings that really make life more complicated. Ready?
First, consider what might characterize the attitude of a leper. What feelings might drive such a person? How about: fear of being discovered and rejected; resentment at being excluded; shame at one’s physical appearance.
My question is this: When Jesus healed the leper of his disease, did he heal him also of his dis-ease? In other words, what if Jesus’ healing took care of the physical symptoms without dealing with the inner processes that were connected to leprosy?
So, what’s it like for a leper to be reintroduced into his/her community? That’s the upshot of Jesus’ command that sent him to the priests to “show himself.” The proof of healing opened the door for his reentry into relationship with family and friends.
What if this healed leper was very much at the same time still wounded in his spirit? How would that play out when moving back into relationship with others? What sort of havoc would resentment, fear, embarrassment, shame, and the like wreak back in relationships?
Physical healing seems to be the prelude that incites the community to enter into the healing process of receiving a member back who won’t fit in right away. Thus the community will have to undergo soul searching for it to see what its own needs for healing are and how all can respond to this turn of events.
That seem sneaky? Perhaps the hope many of us hold out for healing is actually a prelude to deeper healing as old relationships struggle to become new.
Happy New Year!
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