Ten Lepers

It is written:

“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)

Three things stand out to me about this passage.

First, the leper’s knew Who Jesus was. They had heard about Him and His miraculous power. Several non-biblical works mention the miracles of Jesus (the writings of Josephus, the Babylonian Talmud, the writings of Quadratus and Celsus, etc). These miracles testify to Who Jesus is: the Son Of God (John 3:2; Mark 16:20; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:1-4). Yet more then that, they knew that Jesus would show them mercy. The lovingkindness is Jesus was well known.

Second, notice that they were healed as they were going and obeying what Jesus said to do. They were not healed by faith alone; instead they were healed by a faith that was willing to do what God said to do.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6).

Finally, notice that even though all were healed, only one returned and gave thanks. One of great problems that we have in life is that we don’t stop to thank God for what He does for us.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

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