Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:14-16)
Writers are told to, “show, don’t tell.” It’s a powerful way of writing that allows the reader to picture and experience the author’s words emotionally. The phrase “the man was a leper,” won’t trigger a strong emotional response. However, reading “oozing, red sores covered the man’s deformed body,” makes our bodies tighten and our mouths frown. Showing is more effective than telling.
The priest let the lepers into the temple before anyone else so they could sit by themselves. He was the expert determining the leper was healed and then offered a sacrifice to cleanse him. (Leviticus 14). The healed leper, free of sores, saying, “Jesus healed me” could be determined by anyone to be lying. It would be more effective for the priest to testify the truth. “Today I cleansed a leper. A leper can only be healed by God, and today, Jesus healed a leper. He must be the Messiah.” After the priest testified, the news spread, crowds of people flocked to Jesus to listen and be healed, and Jesus had to withdraw from the large number of people to pray.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the teachings of Jesus and his sacrifice that heals us. As we are alone, bowing our heads in prayer, we ask you to heal our bodies of sin and disease, then, in your peace, let us be effective in showing others your love.