Luke 17:14-16 (NIV) 14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem when ten lepers met Him and pleaded for mercy. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. It was prescribed in the Law that if someone was healed of leprosy, they were to go to the priest and show that they had been cleansed. The word translated ‘leprosy’ covers a number of different skin diseases.
These ten men obeyed the word that Jesus spoke. It took faith to begin the journey. As they went, they were healed. Jesus will often ask us to go forward in faith when we do not yet see evidence. As we go, things fall into place and we understand that God is at work. Faith obeys without seeing. It may be that Jesus is still answering the disciples’ request in a previous verse to increase their faith. As servants, we need but obey, and God does the rest.
One man returned to thank Jesus and give praise to God. He was a Samaritan. It is interesting that the Jews allowed the Samaritan leper to be in their group. Illness and tragedy have a way of breaking down walls of pride. The one the Jews considered hard hearted and impure was the one who did the right thing. Jesus asked where the other nine were. Perhaps he asked the question to drive home the point to those who were listening that God is looking at the heart and not one’s nationality.
Jesus acted in the priest’s place declaring that he was well. He reminded the Samaritan and those listening that it was the man’s faith that made him well. Jesus spoke. The man obeyed in faith, and healing was the result. One final lesson we should take from this is our need to return to Jesus with thanks and praise to God.
Consider: Have you thanked Him today for all the answers to prayer and the results of faith in your life?
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