October 22, 2006

Ten Lepers Healed

Luke 17:11-19

Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?"


The ten lepers who called out to Jesus were outcasts because of their disease. Together they faced a slow, miserable death as their bodies wasted away.

But then they met Jesus. And he said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests," as the Hebrew law required (Leviticus 14:1-3). The lepers must have been confused at first, but as they followed Jesus' instructions in faith, they were healed. But only one of them came back to thank Jesus--and that person was a Samaritan, a foreigner.

Let's note three important points about this story:

First, all ten had faith to cry to Jesus and be healed. But only one had a faith that took him in gratitude to Jesus' feet and to a healing of a greater kind. Are there levels of faith like this today?

Second, Jews and Samaritans normally stayed apart, but the condition of the ten lepers brought them together. If Christians today saw that they all had the same basic condition and the same needs, would they set aside their differences? Might a deeper understanding of our need and God's grace change the complexion of our churches?

Third, Jesus was moved by the gratitude of the one, but grieved by the ingratitude of the others. Why is gratitude so rare? What does it say about our faith?

Lord, may the lessons of this story become clear to us. Change us to be more like you, we pray. Give us faith, gratitude, and love for one another in you. Amen.

About the author — Roger S. Greenway

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