A picture of sin (Matthew 8:1-4)

There are various ways in the Bible by which leprosy pictured sin. Leprosy prevented someone from approaching the temple to worship God. This means that leprosy illustrated someone who was separated from God, and sin does this in a far more serious way that leprosy does. There will be lepers in heaven who were never healed of their leprosy, but there will be no sinners in heaven who were not healed of sin and its consequences. It is a solemn fact that sin creates a separation between us and God.

Another feature of leprosy is that it is not a static disease. The person who has it knows that his state will get worse. That is what sin does to people as well. We see young children and they seem so innocent, but who knows what they will do when they become adults. Many a teenager played with a sin and they are now under its grip and they are very different from what they once were. Everyone knows that bad habits have consequences. The real name for bad habits is sin. The fact is, if we don’t do something about our sins, our sins will do something to us and make us worse.

A third way in which leprosy depicts sin is that it brings sorrow in its path. Imagine the devastation that would come into a family if one of the members was affected by the disease. What sorrows and disappointments there would be! And sin leaves a trail of sorrow behind it. How much sorrow is in the world, no one can say. But we can say about the sorrows that in one way or another they are here because of sin.

There is a fourth way in which leprosy depicts sin and that is that it leads to death. We know that some illnesses are incurable sadly and will lead eventually to death. And that is where sin is taking every person living today, it is where it has taken every person who lived in the past, and it will take every person who will live in the future. Sin guarantees a definite result. Those who are sinners will die, not just physically but also eternally.

So we see four ways at least in which leprosy is a picture of us in our sins. It separates, it progresses, it saddens and it will bring about death. We can imagine how desolating the poor leper must have felt. The reality is that our sins should make us feel far more desolate because sin is a worse disease than leprosy. For most of his life, at least since he had become a leper, this man would have had no hope. But one day he heard about Jesus and determined to see if he could be helped by him.

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