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Obedience and Action

"As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!' He looked at them and said, 'Go show yourselves to the priests. And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.1

Many of you will be familiar with the story of the "Ten Lepers" which we read about in today's passage. If you recall, Leprosy was pretty much the worst disease you could have in Jesus' day. Having leprosy meant that you were unclean and unfit for society. You were separated from your family and friends without any hope for a cure. In addition to the physical pain associated with this disfiguring disease, lepers also suffered the emotional pain of feeling worthless, ashamed, and unloved.

In today’s passage we see this group of ten lepers come to Jesus desperate to be healed. Jesus responds to them in compassion, as we often see him do, but before he heals them, he gives them instructions. Jesus asks them to step out in faith and go present themselves to the priest for inspection as if they had already been healed. In addition to religious duties, the priest was also responsible for deeming them healed and giving them clearance to return to social life. The lepers did not question Jesus and headed out to see the priest. AS THEY WENT, they were cleansed of their leprosy. Jesus had the power to heal them immediately, but he chose to give the lepers the choice of obedience, which then leads to their healing.

When hardships come our way, we often cry out to God asking him to solve the problem. If we do not see the desired response immediately, we get impatient and either get angry with God because he is not answering, or we take the problem back and try to solve it on our own. However, I encourage you to stop and think of what we can possibly learn from the problem. Have you stopped and listened to what God is telling you? When you hear him, do you obey and take the action he is asking you to take? We may not always see God answer the way we want him to, but He tells us to trust him and lean not on our own understanding.2 One thing God reminds me of often is the importance of seeking him first, making HIM my priority, and believing that He will take care of the rest. God speaks to all of us in different ways, but we are all called to obey. God is all powerful and all knowing. He could say the word and make everything better, but just as in the story of the lepers, He is also telling us to step out in faith, trust him, and obey.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, it is easy to ask you to answer our prayers, but many times it is not as easy to obey your instructions. I pray that you would allow me to trust your will and obey despite how I feel, believing that your plans are perfect, even when they are not my plans. I ask that you give me wisdom to make good choices and act in obedience when you tell me to do so. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

 

  1. Luke 17:11-14 (NLT).

  2. Proverbs 3:5.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.