Ten Lepers Cleansed

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scan0086HEALING TEN LEPERS (Luke 17: 11 – 19)
“It came to pass, when the days were near that He (Jesus) should be taken up, He intently set His face to go to Jerusalem” (9:51).
∗ Jerusalem, of course, is where Jesus would die in accord with God’s plan.
 Jesus had not made much progress toward Jerusalem so far. His disciples entered a Samaritan village at the beginning of the journey (9:52), and Jesus is still at the northern border of Samaria.
∗ The storyteller reminds us that this took place in a racially-mixed area, so we will be ready for the punch line at the end of the story: “– and he was a Samaritan.”

Leprosy in Biblical times was a terrible disease. It was considered incurable, and those diagnosed with leprosy were banned from society.

“The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:45-46).

“As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. (17:12a)
There are two things to be noticed.
1. Jesus is just outside of the village.
2. He meets a group of lepers. It wasn’t uncommon for lepers to group together. They couldn’t have much social contact with the “clean” members of the society, so they formed their own society of the “unclean,” the “untouchables.”

“They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ (17: 12 b-13)
∗ When Jesus and his band of disciples drew nearer, the lepers immediately recognised him and called out His name.
∗ This phrase, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us, tells us about the lepers.
∗ They knew Jesus already. They honoured Him with a dignified and respected word, Master.
∗ They knew that he is compassionate and they pleaded because they had complete faith on Him.
∗ They called out in a loud voice because they were afar as they were separated from the society.
∗ They didn’t want to miss meeting Jesus.

“When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.” (17:14)
∗ What a wonderful miracle of Jesus!
∗ The significance of the priests in Jesus’ instruction, is that only priests, according to Jewish law, can declare a person healed of leprosy — clean, and fit to re-enter society (Leviticus 14).
∗ Jesus didn’t say that they were healed, but certainly implied it. ∗ Therefore, they must go to receive a clean bill of health from the official who could grant it. ∗ The priests lived together in villages, and there was a priest’s village nearby in most areas of Palestine.
∗ The latter part of the verse tells us that they were cleansed on the way itself. Before reaching the priest, they were made whole and  they obeyed the words of Jesus.
∗ We could imagine how joyous they were while their leprosy was cleansed.
∗ Nothing was mentioned about lepers other than one – but all that we knew was that they obeyed Jesus and their healing took place all of a sudden.
∗ Had they disbelieved Jesus and laughed at His command as illogical, they wouldn’t have been healed.
∗ But they believed Him — that is, had faith — and received their healing as a result.
∗ Believing is not enough; it’s a vacuum, if there is no faith.
∗ Faith should be exhibited in what we do.
∗ Because these lepers believed, they began to obey and went to the village where the priests lived.
∗ As Jesus’ brother James says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17)

∗ We were not told how they discovered that they were healed, but as soon as they saw themselves healed, one of them returned with a loud voice glorifying God.
∗ His happiness knew no bounds. He was going to live again as a normal person. All the ten would have had the same feeling.
∗ But only he thought about the Healer with gratitude and came back all the way to thank Jesus.
∗ He fell down on his face at His feet giving Him thanks and he was a Samaritan.
∗ Jesus said to him, Arise and go your way. Your faith has made you well.
∗ Jesus didn’t take the pride of healing him. But he gives importance to his faith.
∗ Jesus knew very well that the divine healing power was given by God.

∗ ……the Samaritan believed; he came to Jesus for healing.
∗ ……the Samaritan had faith; he called aloud, Jesus, rightfully.
∗ ……Jesus is gracious and merciful, the Samaritan pleaded for mercy.
∗ ……the Samaritan wasn’t asked for any payback, he showed his gratitude.
∗ ……Jesus blessed him, the Samaritan would have continued to be in faith.
∗ …….he fell flat on His feet, Jesus offered the Samaritan more than the others.
∗ ……of his faith, he was prompted to return to the feet of Jesus in thanks, and that personal contact, that personal submission signified a soul healing which was more than skin deep.
∗ ……Jesus blessed him, the Samaritan would have continued to be in faith.
∗ The remaining nine  received healing, but this Samaritan received a deeper salvation in addition.

∗ When the Samaritan came, Jesus was wondering about the remaining nine, who were Jews, didn’t return to glorify God.
∗ Here Jesus was making the disciples to understand the difference between the Jews and the Samaritans.
∗ The group of lepers was made up of both Jews and Samaritans, because their common disease uniting them despite of their deep divisions of ancestry, religion, and history.
∗ But the only one was courteous enough to offer thanks was a Samaritan.
∗ The remaining nine had missed the greater healing and deeper blessing.  They had missed the deep inner peace and the joy of thanksgiving.
∗ They would have thought about their families and friends and would have joined them within no time.  
∗ They sought for worldly pleasures.
∗ John’s Gospel begins with the sad observation, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11-12).

∗ It is evidently clear that the people other than Jews are more responsive than God’s own people.
∗ Sad to say, but the certified believers can result in spiritual deafness.
∗ Jesus is working on saving the sinners. He doesn’t discriminate the people on the basis of their religion or lack of it.
∗ The unbelievers might be triggered by the faith, healing, and thankfulness of the Samaritan.

∗ Faith leads to obedience; obedience leads to healing; healing leads to thankfulness; thankfulness leads to glorification of God; and glorification leads to salvation.
∗ Faith has to work in minds, followed by all the actions in order to glorify His name and achieve His salvation. “Your faith has made you well” (17:19b).

Let’s pray :
Lord, thank You for giving us the opportunity to know You; believe You; and having faith in You. We lay our lives before You and surrender ourselves unto You to do Your will. May our hearts always be filled with praise for Your love which flows in abundance in our  lives. Let us be saved. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
Glory be to God

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