By Brooke Holt
“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ When he saw them he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And he said to him, ‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’” - Luke 17:11-19
Ten lepers stood on a street corner together, yelling out to Jesus. These lepers were societal outcasts forbidden to come within six feet of people. And here they stood, gathered and asking to be seen, heard, and healed by Jesus: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (verse 13).
Jesus does see them, hear them, and heal them. This was no ordinary miracle. Jesus said no prayers, didn’t touch them in any way, nor did he have them wash in water. Instead, Jesus simply commanded them to go to the priests and present themselves. Jesus’ command overrode the command to lepers in Leviticus to remain set apart from the people (Leviticus 13:45-46).
Interestingly, it was as they went that they became clean and healed. Their obedience to the words of Jesus precipitated the healing. Ten lepers obeyed Jesus and walked toward the priest, but only one healed leper returned to thank Jesus. Ten people had their lives transformed by Jesus that day, but only one came back to worship. Jesus offers an interesting challenge in this healing story that you don’t want to miss!
How do you respond to Jesus’ work in your life? Do you obey the Lord without truly thanking him for all he has done or falling before him in worship? In Jesus’ day, lepers were desperate people. No cures for the disease existed. just isolation and a gradual loss of body parts and functions. Wouldn’t you assume these desperate people would be back praising God for this healing, following Jesus, and proclaiming all he had done for them?
Just like them, you were in a desperate and hopeless situation. You could not save yourself from sin; you could not heal or forgive yourself. But Jesus—Jesus could do those things for you through his shed blood on the cross. You have been saved, redeemed, healed, and set free from your bondage. Does your life reflect gratitude, praise, and worship for what has been done for you?
The lepers knew Jesus was the Master who had authority over sickness, even the incurable leprosy. They knew he was their only hope. All ten cried out; all ten were healed, and only one returned to praise Jesus. May you be like that one!
Does your life reflect gratitude for what the Lord has done for you? Are you the one who has returned to thank the Lord, praise his name, follow him, and declare all he has done for you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments?
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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