The most treacherous enemy The most treacherous enemy Sitting at the leper's table!

(Horatius Bonar, "Bethany and its Feast")

"Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon,
 a man who had leprosy." Matthew 26:6

To this home Jesus had been invited--and He goes.

It seems to have been his leprosy, which first brought
Simon to Christ--and Christ to him. His disease was his
link of connection with the Lord; and had it not been
for it, he might never have sought Him.

It is still so with us. Our sin, our moral leprosy--draws
us to Jesus. We go to Jesus, not about the good that is
in us--but the evil. Our sense of guilt draws us to Him as
the Pardoner; and our consciousness of sin constrains us
to deal with Him as the Healer and Renewer. And as we
began--so also do we go on. Sin brought us to Him--and
Him to us. Our sin keeps us constantly at His side.

Simon finds that he has much more to do with Jesus
than merely for the cure of his leprosy; therefore he
must have Him at his table. So is it with us. We begin
our relationship with Jesus by going to Him with our sins.
But we soon discover that it cannot be ended here. Our
relationship becomes a constant interchange of thought
and sympathy. We invite Him to our house--and He
comes. We ask Him to dine with us--and He comes.

How great the honor enjoyed by Simon, of entertaining
the Lord of glory; sitting at his own table, with Jesus at
his side as his guest! How marvelous the condescension
of Christ--in thus sitting at the leper's table!

Here, then, is the Savior that suits us--the healer of the
leper, and the guest of the healed one! We say to Jesus,
"Heal me"--and He heals! "Come in"--and He comes!
"Sit down at my table"--and He sits down immediately.

It is but little communion indeed, that we can taste here;
for the best of earthly feasts are but foretastes of the
marriage-supper. But the whole glad fullness we shall yet
enjoy, when we shall meet a long absent Lord, not at our
table--but at His own! That day shall be the day of the
Master's joy, as well as of ours--He feasting with us, and
we with Him! He enjoying our fellowship, and we His--