In all the diseases known to man there is no more terrible scourge than that of leprosy. True leprosy is incurable. In Bible-times the lepers were considered, in a special sense, unclean. They were shut out from the temple, the synagogues, and to a large extent from the social life of their fellow-beings. Their lot was truly pitiable. The tubercular blotches on the skin, soon covering the cheeks, the nose, the lips, and the forehead. Ulcers in the mouth and a condition where the tubercles on the face started becoming encrusted with discharge followed afterward. The progression of the disease included the falling out of the eyebrows, the ulceration of feet and hands, the progressive loss of fingers and toes, then of arms and limbs. Leprosy was the most dreaded of all diseases. Finally the end unmercifully came usually by the onset of tuberculosis, combined with mental decay, idiocy, and coma.
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straightly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; and saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter. Mark 1:40-45
Today there is treatment for leprosy (but not a cure). The treatment involves cocktails of drugs that must be taken, and changed over time to be effective. The treatment continues for the rest of the sufferer's life. In the days Jesus walked the earth, if you had leprosy, you were under a curse of death. In the scripture account above, the man with leprosy begged for healing. Jesus saw him, was filled with compassion, and healed him. The man was no longer under the curse of death. He had been redeemed and saved from death! This would be quite an event. But did he keep this good news to himself? No, he ran and told everyone what Jesus had done for him.
None of us have leprosy. But we are all under a curse of death from a disease that is much worse. This disease infects everyone and everything on the planet. It is responsible for harming and killing more people than all other terrible diseases combined. It affects our relationships with our friends, our families, and our relationship to GOD. There is no man-made cure for our disease. It is one hundred percent fatal all of the time. The earth decays because of it and every living thing will die from it. What in the world is this disease?