This Week's Story

Didn't the leper know where he belonged?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Unclean! Unclean!

A leper was lurching down the street. His clothes were torn, his hair uncombed, and his upper lip covered. Why wasn’t he calling, “Unclean! Unclean!”? That was the warning the law of Moses required.

Didn’t he know where he belonged? Usually a leper must stay away from people and live outside of towns.

My brother Peter is mean. He threw a rock at the man. It hit his shoulder hard, but he did not turn around. Didn’t the rock hurt him?

Mother joined us. “Mom, why didn’t he yell when the rock hit him?”

“Maybe it did not hurt him.”

“How could that be?”

“Lepers often do not feel pain. Their nerves are damaged.”

“I think that if I did not feel pain, that would be good.”

“No, it is a big problem! If a leper touches a hot iron, he does not feel the heat. He gets burned.”

“Why is the man on our road?”

“Maybe he heard that Jesus is visiting our town. Many sick people hope that Jesus will heal them. I would like to hear him speak. I did once before. Even though he is not a priest, his authority and understanding of the Holy Scriptures make me want to hear him.”

“Mom, let’s follow the leper. We won’t go close to him.”

“Sons, leprosy can be contagious. I don’t want you to get it. If you touch a leper or his spit or mucus gets on you, you might become lepers.”

The boys and their mother followed the man. Peter asked, “Why does he walk crooked?”

“Sons, leprosy has been eating away at his body for a long time. When you get leprosy, it starts in the skin and gradually destroys the body. It spreads to the hands, feet, face, earlobes, and bones. Did you notice his hands?”

“Yes, they looked like the claws of an animal.”

The leper turned right and began hopping rapidly towards a group of people. He stopped in front of a man and fell to the ground with his face in the dust.

The boys moved closer to him. Their mother whispered, “He is talking to Jesus.”

The leper plead, “Please, master, I beg of you, heal me. If you want to, I know that you can make me well again.”

Jesus touched the man and said, “I want to. Be healed.”

Instantly the leprosy disappeared. Peter rubbed his eyes and looked again. The leper stood straight. His fingers were straight. The blotches on his skin were gone.

Jesus instructed the man. “Do not stop to tell anyone what has happened to you. Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take the offering required by the law of Moses for those healed of leprosy. Then everyone will have proof that you have been healed.”

Reports of the power of Jesus spread far and large crowds of people came to hear him preach and to be healed. Often, he left the crowds and went into the wilderness to pray.

This is Barbara Steiner bringing you a fictitious family and the true story of a leper as found in Luke 5 of the Bible.

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