Bluetooth technology allows Bluetooth equipped electronic devices to communicate via a short range wireless link. Bluetooth technology was named for a second century king of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth, who united Scandinavia. Mobile phones can be connected wirelessly to laptops, radios and audio speakers. Bluetooth bridges gaps and unites equipment that a few years ago required expensive cables. A miracle of Jesus, while having nothing to do with technology that came alone two thousand years later, illustrates the critical importance of bridging a significant gap.
As Jesus traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem, He was met by ten lepers on the outskirts of a village. The lepers shouted at Jesus from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (Luke 11:12)! In that day, anyone with an infectious skin disease was required to stay away from other people and to announce their presence whenever a person without leprosy came near. Since the lepers could not come near to Jesus, they cried out from a distance. Keep in mind that throughout the Bible, leprosy is a metaphor for sin.
Luke doesn’t say how these pitiful outcasts with open running sores and rotting flesh knew about Jesus but they had undoubtedly heard about His miracles. Picture this scene in your mind. Jesus stood with His disciples facing ten men with leprosy. Scripture doesn’t tell us how far apart they stood but, since they had to call out in a loud voice to be heard, it is probably safe to say there was a significant gap. What a scene! Hopeless, diseased people calling out because they could not draw close to the One who has the power to cleanse and heal.
There is another wide gap in this story. After the lepers begged Jesus for mercy, He said “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14). The second gap is seen in the distance between the leper’s plea for mercy and Jesus’ instructions to go to the priest. Jesus didn’t say, “You are healed.” He gave them instructions to proceed as if they were healed. These lepers must have been Jewish. All Jews knew that outcast people who believed their skin disease was in remission had to present themselves to the priest. The lepers had to deduce that the command from Jesus meant healing. Jesus bridged the gap between them by sending His cleansing and life giving healing to the lepers, yet, they had to take the step of obedience. “And while they were going, they were healed” (Luke 14:12). By the way, the size of the gap didn’t matter. No matter how wide the gap, Jesus can cover the distance.
Can you imagine the scene as these guys realized their leprosy was gone? Surely they were jumping, laughing and shouting for joy! Maybe in their immense joy they were moved to tears as they thought about being reunited with spouses, children and friends. In those moments all they could think of was getting back to their lives. At least, that is what nine of the lepers seemed to be thinking. One healed leper, who had other thoughts, was moved to immediate gratitude. Now that Jesus had bridged the gap, this cleansed leper was now able to draw close to Jesus. All of the lepers could have but the others got caught up in getting back to life. This is where we all want to relate to the leper who had gratitude. We should be grateful that the Master had made His forgiveness and cleansing available through His shed blood at Calvary. Before we draw near to Him, we must recognize, like the ten lepers, we have a disease that only He can cleanse. We must cry out for mercy. When we do, Jesus will bridge the gap.