All three synoptic evangelists narrate a miracle performed by Jesus in the earliest phase of His public ministry in which He was accosted by a leper requesting cleansing, to which He duly responded (cf. Mk 1:40-45; Mt 8:1-4; Lk 5:12-16). A key feature of the socio-cultural and religious experiences of the biblical leper is stigmatization, ostracism and marginalization from full participation in the life of the community. Several scholars have examined the Synoptic Gospels’ account of the healing of the leper seeking to identify their relevance and application in contemporary scenarios. Although these discussions have shed significant light on the modern relevance of the miracle, as far as I am aware, none have focused on the specific presentation of the miracle in Luke’s Gospel in relation to people living with HIV and AIDS, who, like the biblical leper, are also often stigmatized and marginalized from full participation in their communities, including church life. This is a significant scholarly omission, given Luke’s heightened interest in the poor, stigmatized and marginalized.

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