Matthew 26:6-7 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.
Bethany was a very small town on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives. It’s remarkable that the house of a Leper would be inside the town. After all, leprosy was a highly contagious disease and was a death sentence for anyone who contracted it. It was so contagious, in fact, that those who contracted the disease would be taken outside of town to live in a “Leper Colony.” Yet, Jesus and His disciples were in the house of Simon the Leper, in the town of Bethany. There must be something more going on here than meets the eye. I believe that this Simon, father of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, was among the Lepers that Jesus had previously healed.
“The Leper” was not a term of endearment but was instead a label. Yet Simon had been healed. So, since Simon was no longer a leper, why was he still called “leper?” Because the world at large doesn’t understand “radically changed by Jesus.” You are not who you were.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
If it’s all new, then we have no business doing the same things we did before Christ. But some Christians want to live the same as they were. Some want to keep looking back. But Jesus moves us forward into holiness. What is Holiness? It would be easy if we could answer that for ourselves, but holiness is defined by none other than God. It’s certainly not by us, our government, our culture, or our churches. Holiness is defined by God alone.
Making holiness subject to the rules of men only leads to backslidden or discouraged Christians. We must be willing to put aside our pride. We must be willing to empty ourselves, to place our lives at the feet of Christ. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God and ask Him to show us just what it means to truly be holy.
1 John 2:24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
Holiness is not in what we leave behind, but is in Whom we chose to follow.
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