There’s a lot said in the Bible about Leprosy. Today the disease is referred to as Hansen’s Disease and easily curable if caught soon enough. The laws concerning Leprosy are laid out in the book of Leviticus 13. It is thoroughly described in every minute detail along with the symptoms. The leper would be considered unclean and forced to live alone outside of the city. Eventually they would form colonies of those who suffered the same ailment, but they were all excluded from being part of society. Not only would the diseased be banned physically, but also spiritually, because it was thought that some specific sin caused the disease.
Leprosy begins with sores on the skin. It then moves into the respiratory system. Eventually the disease would eat away at the skin and affect the nervous system, causing pain triggers to be deadened. The patient would not be aware of any injuries, because he would not have the sensation of touch. His body would at last rot away and become disfigured.
Simon, the Leper, had undoubtedly been cured from his disease by Jesus. When the Savior went to visit Lazarus, Mary and Martha, it was at Simon’s home. We don’t know if he was part of the family, but we do know he no longer suffered from Leprosy, because he was again living in his own house, back in society. You can imagine the joy he experienced, not only by his healing, but having his Physician sitting at his table.
In those days, there was a stigma concerning Leprosy. When we shun another human being for having a birth defect or special needs, we’re doing the same as the people of Simon’s day. Those who were lepers were banned from society, but Jesus changed all that. Through His healing of those afflicted, He not only returned them to good health physically, but He also was the One responsible for cleansing ever sin from Simon’s soul. We have the benefit of that same kind of spiritual washing.
Jesus planted Himself on this earth, became one of us, lived with us for a while, learned all about us and, in spite of our ugliness, He took our sin on His own shoulders. He carried that burden to the cross, suffered and died. He was placed in a rich man’s tomb and on Easter morning, defeated death itself by returning to life. Sin no longer has dominion over us. If we simply believe that God did this miraculous deed so we wouldn’t have to, we can look forward to eternity in paradise.