Sin and Its Effects

Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked  -- Revelation 3:17

Dr. Paul Brand dedicated much of his life to investigating the disease of leprosy in India. Anyone could see that lepers lost parts of their extremities, like fingers, or a foot, but no one knew exactly how leprosy caused this decay in the body.

Dr. Brand discovered that leprosy does not actually directly cause this damage. Leprosy prevents the affected part of the body from feeling pain, and so a broken ankle, or injured hand, goes untreated. It is in this indirect way that leprosy causes many other difficulties.

Similarly, sin deadens us to the danger we are in. It keeps us from feeling the soul-injuries that every human has. It makes us think everything is fine, when it is not.

This is why Jesus speaks to us here and warns us not to trust our feelings. We may convince ourselves that we are in need of nothing, when in reality we are hanging by a thread over an eternity for which we are unprepared.

To those who are deceived in this way, Jesus says, “You are wretched, your condition is miserable, you are exposed and naked before a Holy God.”

How do you see yourself today? In need of nothing? Or poor and blind and in need of a Savior?