"As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! "When He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they were going, they were cleansed."
Healing came in unsuspecting ways. On one occasion, Jesus would lay hands on the sick, and in another, He would make clay. In still another, Jesus simply spoke a word. But here, he tells the lepers to stick plan "A," to keep going forward; go and show themselves to the priests.
You see, in those days, the priests doubled as the health department of the state as well as the religion department. They were to continue with what was normal. Go to the priests and act as if they were already healed, to live as if they were kosher, cleansed, and restored ... even though there were yet symptoms of leprosy still poking out everywhere. So they complied, unsteady I'm sure at first, unsure of how they might be received by the priests when their disease was still obvious on their skin.
And now the phrase: "And as they were going, they were cleansed."
Frank Stanton, born before the civil war in 1857, wrote a few stanzas that remind me to keep moving forward regardless of how it looks:
If you strike a thorn or rose,
If it hails or if it snows,
'Taint no use to sit an' whine
When the fish ain't on your line;
Bait your hook an' keep a-tryin'--
When the weather kills your crop,
Though 'tis work to reach the top,
S'pose you're out o' ev'ry dime,
Gittin' broke ain't any crime;
Tell the world you're feelin' prime--
When it looks like all is up,
Drain the sweetness from the cup,
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like singin', sing--
There have been times, and will be again, that I don't want to keep a'goin. I have had the strong urge to throw in the towel, but here, Jesus is reminding me that my real desire is not opting out. It is being healed. And to me, He has reminded me that ... as they were going, they were cleansed. Just keep a'goin'!
Father, thank You for Your Word. What would I do without its instructions, counsel and advice? I know I would have made hundreds of foolish mistakes, I would have bailed, and I don't know where I would be today. My life would surely be different! But today, I thank you for the power to persevere, the divine fortitude to have, as Eugene Peterson's books aptly titled: to maintain ... a long obedience in the same direction.