‘When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.’ Luke 17.14
It is interesting to note the chronology of this verse, which is part of the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. They came to Jesus asking for healing, and he told them to go and show themselves to the priest (the only one with the authority to pronounce them clean). What is interesting is that Jesus told them to do this before they were actually healed. It was only as they were on their way to the priest that their healing took place. By being obedient to Jesus, they actually ran quite a risk of standing before the priest asking to be pronounced clean while they still had leprosy! It is full credit to them that they set off on the way, trusting that something would happen as they walked along.
We, too, are called to share our faith in a similar way; to believe before we see the results. Just as the ten lepers were told to do something before they saw the evidence with their own eyes, so we are called to show love whether or not we feel loving, to remain in God’s love whether or not we feel his love, and to believe in the truth that we carry his presence with us wherever we go, no matter whether or not we have any evidence before we leave our front doors.
All too often we act in response to our feelings, whereas what brings God the greatest pleasure is when we act in response to what he says. Today you will carry his presence to every person you meet, so act on this whether you feel it or not!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission