Saturday, May 21, 2022

Pardoned Sinners (Luke 5:12-16)

Jesus is in a city by the Sea of Galilee. Jesus: a marginal itinerant preacher. Galilee: a marginal rural area, exploited by local elites, occupied by foreign soldiers, dangling at the edge of powerful empire. No one expects anything extraordinary, let alone liberating, to happen here.

A leper approaches Jesus. A leper: a person even more marginal than Jesus, which is saying something. Everyone regards lepers as unclean, tainted, and therefore worthy of shunning. To be touched by someone with leprosy is to become just like them.

Jesus does the unexpected. He deliberately touches the leper. An exchange takes place. Jesus freely takes the leper’s disease and nature as outcast upon himself and bears them away. At the same time, he freely gives the leper his own wholeness and inclusion in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus has done the same for you and me. With his crucifixion, he freely took our sinfulness upon himself and bore it away. He freely pardoned all of us sinners dwelling within the open-air prison of the world. With his resurrection, he freely gave us his righteousness. He freely set us right with God and all other human beings in his Kingdom of Heaven. Today he calls and enables each one of us to live like it. He calls and enables us to leave behind both the prison itself as well as its mentality. As with the leper, Jesus has done the extraordinary: he has made us clean.

Today he calls and enables us to proclaim this Good News of pardon to our fellow inmates so that they too may join us with Jesus on the path of freedom which lies outside the prison and beyond its worldview.

 Copyright © 2022 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.