A Bible Short Story by Johann Quisumbing
In the morning, Simon came out of his tent feeling invigorated. Lazarus wanted to pull up stakes and make the return trip to Bethany today. But Simon was thinking about staying.
“Well, father, when we get home, we have to tell as many people that we found the Messiah… and show them how you were healed… and then…”
“No, I will not.”
“What! What are you saying, father? People must be told.”
“I agree, but it will not come from me.”
“Because the master asked me,” Simon said solemnly. “His words to me last night were ‘Tell not anyone about this. Go, instead to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering as is according to the law passed down by Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. It is most important that this will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.’ “
“Can we not even tell the girls?”
“Of course, we can.”
“Good. I cannot wait to see Mary’s face when you get home.”
Then, they were approached by two women carrying a large bundle. One of them said, “The master sends his regrets that he was not here to see you off. He and the disciples left before dawn. He asked us to bring you more supplies for your trip back to Bethany.”
Simon wanted to say that he was staying, but the other woman added, “The master also said that he knows of your desire to stay and follow him. But he instructs that you return home and await for him.”
Three days later, he was entering the village of Bethany to the surprise of everyone who set their eyes on him for they thought him to be long dead. When he reached his house, a crowd of curious neighbors had gathered. Just as he was getting off his donkey, he heard a gleeful sound and running feet.
“Abba! Oh Abba!”
It was Mary who was all grown up. They embraced for a long time. Mary took his face and looked closely at him.
“Are you healed, Abba?”
“Yes, Mary, I am healed…”, then a thought occured to him, “…and I am saved.”
Though my story is basically fiction, the character of Simon the Leper is an actual Bible personality who actually lived in Bethany, a village in Judaea on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives. He is only mentioned in two verses in the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark. There is no other reference of him in the Bible. So, I asked myself, ‘what was his story? How did he catch leprosy? And how was he cured?’ There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them had no names at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.