Damien De Veuster left Belgium to minister the Gospel to the many lepers on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. Over the course of twelve years he tried to talk with the people and show the love of God. The lepers seemed indifferent, even antagonistic to his efforts even though he poured all his energy into his work and built a chapel to hold services. Virtually no one attended the services and so he rather dejectedly decided to return to home.
His possessions were packed and loaded onto the ship and he stood on the deck viewing the island for the last time when he became aware of a certain numbness in his fingers and immediately realised he had contracted leprosy. Quickly he decided to remain on the island and so removed his luggage from the ship and settled down for the rest of his life to work amongst this group of people who were so unresponsive to God’s message.
The following Sunday he had the biggest surprise as the chapel was crowded with hundreds of lepers. Every seat was filled, others stood in the aisles, while many more gathered outside. From then on, his ministry was an enormous success. The reason for the change was simple. He was now one with them. He understood what it was like to have leprosy and so he could empathise and feel with them in their pain and discomfort.
Likewise, Jesus has identified with our humanity. He knew what it was to experience sadness, loneliness, pain, hunger, thirst, opposition, betrayal and false accusations. He also experienced the joys and delights of life. The Bible makes it clear, “We have not an High Priest (that’s Jesus) who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15. So we can come to the Lord in faith, knowing that He above all understands us and deeply appreciates all that we go through and is always ready to help us and bless us. Let’s trust Him today.
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