If you’ve read the Bible very much, you recognize this disease as probably the most feared and most talked about. The Law had strict guidelines for how to treat a leper. There are also several stories where it was used as punishment for people who did wrong.
Most of us have never seen leprosy close up and are left with not really knowing how biblical ideas surrounding this apply to us. Let me bring one out.
The bacteria that cause leprosy attack the peripheral nervous system. The infected person loses feeling, loses the ability to respond normally to outside and inside stimuli. In essence, the cells and tissues are cut off from the rest of the body. They receive the same nutrients, can appear normal for many years, but they are dying.
Satan uses lies, bitterness, pride to infect us with spiritual leprosy. We get hurt or disagree or even elevated and it disconnects us from the body, from the central nerves of community. We can look normal, but we are dying.
And how do we contaminate others, by our breath, just like leprosy. We say things we shouldn’t say, we lash out, we gossip.
But leprosy is curable. We can respond with love and forgiveness and restore those broken connections. We can be a part of the body again.
God can heal this leprosy too.