Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

It was the worst of times. In the first half of the 17th century, Germany was in the midst of wars and famine and pestilence. In the city of Eilenburg lived a pastor by the name of Martin Rinkart. During one especially oppressive period, Rinkart conducted up to 50 funerals … More

Thankfulness

As Jesus crosses over the border between Samaria and Judea He heals ten lepers at one time (v. 11). He uses this event to teach a lesson about “thankfulness.” This group of ten men was composed of both Jews and Samaritans. Jews and Samaritans would not normally live together but because of their common disease of leprosy the usual religious differences were forgotten. People who had leprosy were required to try to stay away from other people and to announce their presence if they had to come near.

It says that these ten lepers “stood afar off” (v. 12). This is because of the command in Leviticus 13:45-46. They knew that Jesus was able to heal them so they cried out to Him for mercy (v. 13). In response to their cry He commanded them to go show themselves to the priest (v. 14). If a leper thought his leprosy had gone away, he was supposed to present himself to a priest who could declare him clean. When they turned to obey they were healed instantly, for their obedience was evidence of their faith.

You would have expected all ten men to run to Jesus and thank Him for healing them, but only one did, and he was a Samaritan (vv. 15-19). We are not told why the others did not give thanks but perhaps it was because of superstition, ignorance, self-interest, or plain ingratitude.

Application

Before I judge these men too harshly I need to ask myself the question. How often do I take blessings for granted and fail to thank the Lord and live with an attitude of thanksgiving? It is so easy to enjoy the gift but forget the giver.

Luke 17:11-19 (English Standard Version)

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."

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