... and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. (Luke 4:14 NASB)
Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king's household." (2 Kings 7:9 NASB)
It's amazing how fast news can travel, isn't it? A tasty morsel of gossip can spread faster than a virus. The news that Jesus had returned to Galilee was one of these rapidly spreading bits of news. The memory of scandal is long and the questions about Mary and her pregnancy may have been put to rest by her godly life, but it's doubtful it was completely forgotten. With Jesus back in town, and clearly speaking with such power as they had never seen, people probably wondered. Maybe what Mary said was true. Maybe. But Messiah? His return was the "trending topic" of their day. As people traveled back and forth between adjacent villages, the talk spread like wildfire and, before long, people everywhere were wondering and talking. Could it be true? Could Messiah have come?
Centuries earlier, during a time of war with the Arameans, four starving lepers decided to surrender to the enemy hoping to get some food. While they were walking that way, God caused the army to hear the sound of chariots and to be overcome with fear. The entire, ferocious army turned coat and ran. With the deserters gone, the lepers had the army camp, including food, animals, and weapons, to themselves. Like most people, their initial response to the good fortune was to keep it for themselves. They feasted on the provisions and hid a supply of gold. They were, however, soon overcome with conviction. These men who were ostracized because of their disease and totally outside society, decided to go to the king that very night and share the good news. It was too wonderful to keep to themselves! They didn't waste another minute.
Those lepers were pretty wonderful weren't they? They had life giving news and they shared it with everyone. Wow. Pretty convicting isn't it? We, too, have life giving news. Jesus Christ has come, paid the penalty for our sin with His blood, and is risen again. His Spirit is here with us to help us in every moment of our lives. We look to an eternity in heaven. What great news!!
The challenge for us is to share the joyous news with the enthusiasm of the starving lepers, not keep it to ourselves. Look for an opportunity to tell your good news to someone today.
As we pray for opportunities, remember to pray for our loved ones to hear the good news of Jesus with fresh ears. Pray, too, that the good news of Jesus will become the trending topic of the day, and everyone they see will be telling of the power of our Savior.