The Ten Lepers – Don Gentry
Scripture: Luke 17:11-19 (HCSB)
While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were healed. But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”
I love how Jesus is just walking along the road going about his daily business and he comes upon a group of diseased men and changes their lives. Here we have a group of ten men most likely plagued with leprosy but it could have been some other type of disease. Back in the day if you had a skin disease you had to walk around calling out “unclean, unclean” wherever you went. This was to let everyone know you had a contagious disease. It was a very lonely life so they would often find others with the same disease and walk together. Misery does love company.
This group of men saw Jesus and recognized their opportunity for healing. Jesus looked at them and knew they needed His healing touch. He told them to go the local priest because he was the only one that could sign off on the fact that they were truly clean. The priest was like a doctor and could officially declare they no longer had to yell out unclean. All ten men were cleansed on their way to the priest. It took a step of faith on their part to trust that by the time they got to the priest their disease would be healed.
Of the ten a Samaritan was the only one that returned to show praise and gratitude. It is interesting that the outcast of outcasts was the only one to say thank you. Back in the day, Jews and Samaritans didn’t mix. Samaritans were hated. A good Jew would avoid all contact with a Samaritan, and the Samaritans didn’t really like the Jews either. Yet this Samaritan returned and was rewarded with an even greater healing.
Jesus not only took the time to associate with unclean people he took the time to change the life of the most despised people.
Jesus is so amazing. Healing those who need healed, showing compassion on the outcasts, taking time out of his day for people who were despised. He brings hope to all who ask for it even if they show no thanks. Wow, what a savior!
This is such a convicting passage for me. These are some of the questions that I ask myself after reading this passage. Do I take time for those I despise? Did I do anything for the homeless man I passed the other day? Did I pray for the Muslim terrorist today? Have I trusted Jesus to help heal me from…? Have I taken a step of faith believing God at His word? Have I thanked God for what He has done in my life? Do I show compassion to the marginalized and vulnerable? Do I still care for those who are ungrateful?
I challenge you to take a few moments and answer each one of these questions and create your own questions from this passage. God so worthy of our praise and His model for life is so worth following!
Thank you Jesus for taking time to show me love and forgiveness. Thank you for being an example of how I should treat and care for others and the “outcasts” of society. Forgive me for all the times I have failed to treat others the way that you would want me to treat them, and forgive me for not taking the time to thank you for all that you have done in my life. You have given me so much more than I deserve, help me to be to be aware of my surroundings so that I can be that type of a blessing to others.