As a result of his being afflicted with leprosy the Samaritan leper not only meets Jesus and is healed by Him; he hears Jesus bless him above the others by saying to him, “Your faith has saved you.” The Messiah and Savior of Israel accepts him and is his Messiah and Savior!
What blessings, for you and others, will come from your sufferings when you endure them with trust in God? He alone knows. There will be blessings, however; of this you can be sure.
I often say that God does His greatest work through suffering. I say this because it is true. Sufferings can remove barriers between people. There was no way those nine Jewish men would have been with that Samaritan man if they had not been afflicted with leprosy, for Jews and Samaritans hated one another! Their sufferings brought them together. They bring us together today, also. Sometimes people’s eyes are only opened to you by your sufferings. Now they are concerned and are paying attention to you. What can you say to them? In fact, what can you hold onto yourself?
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” The God we believe in and worship is our Master. But, He is not only our Master; He is also our Servant. He came to live among us as one of us. He came not to be Master over us but to be Master for us. This is the God we have in Jesus.
Does this mean you will understand and agree with everything that your Master sends into your life or allows to come upon you? No, no more than you understood or agreed with everything your parents did when you were a child. But, you need never doubt that your Master loves you and has only good in mind for you. He gave His life for you! Jesus died on a cross for you. By His cross He has forgiven all of your sins and taken you to be His child! Look upon that cross, especially when you are hurting and suffering, and see God’s love for you. Wear it; display it in your home; mark it upon yourself. God loves you! He is a merciful Master.
He is also a strong and victorious Master. Stories of Christ’s great works of healing, or of His ultimate blessing of Naomi and Ruth with great good and transforming their lives, assure us of what Paul tells us in 2 Timothy:
“If we have died with [Christ], we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.”
Our Master was not mastered by our sins when He bore them on the cross. Even though they brought about His death, He rose from the dead to live forevermore. He ascended into heaven and reigns as Master over your sin and death and every evil. Living in Him and trusting in Him, His victory and life and reign are yours. You are in Him and so are Master over your sufferings, and they must serve you. What was true for the Samaritan leper is true for you: “Your faith has saved you.”
Trust in the Lord, your good and merciful Master. Thank Him for His mercies when they are seen and experienced, and cry out to Him for mercy when they are not. Tell of the mercy you can expect to receive because of Jesus. This is being a Christian. This is being a faithful believer who pleases God. We have eternal hope because of Christ.
“If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.”
Thanks be to God! Through our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Amen.