Miracle 31:
Cleansing of the Ten Lepers
     

I. OBSERVATION

A. Passage Selected: Luke 17:11-19 11And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. [i]

B. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context 17:11

a.    Jesus has been speaking about humble service. 

b.    One should not have the attitude that he deserves special treatment or reward for service and obedience. 

c.    Very important concept to remember as we study this miracle.

d.    And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee [Luke 17:11].

e.   Remember, our Lord is on His way to Jerusalem. 

2. Content  Luke 17:12-19

a. Jesus and the group of lepers  (12-14)  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.[ii]
(1) The condition of the lepers 

a.   Lepers were common in the ancient world. They suffered from a slowly progressing, ordinarily incurable skin disease that was believed to be highly contagious and therefore greatly feared. Anyone who appeared to have leprosy, even if the symptoms were caused by some other condition, was banished from the community.[iii]

b.    Lepers required to live outside the community. Lev 13:46  “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be. “ [iv]

(2) The cry of the lepers 

They recognize his authority and ask for mercy. There is not a demand for healing.  However He might help them is up to him.

(3) The cure of the lepers 

1.  Lev 14:3-4 says to gain acceptance back into society, they had to be declared clean by the priests. 

2.   Lev 14:3-4 And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; 4Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:  [v]

3.    That is why leprosy is such a picture of sin.  Jesus is the priest that declares us clean (righteous).

4.   He doesn’t heal them until they are on the way, which means that they had to exercise a little more faith than the last leper who was healed first and then told to go to the priest.

5.   Healing as They Went, DIVINE HEALING. The nature of some healing as “progressive” is noted in the words “as they went, they were cleansed.”  The 10 lepers’ healing affords several lessons:

a.   Jesus’ directive “Go . . . to the priests” indicates more than His affirmation of the Law (Lev. 13:1-59).  Since the priests were the physicians of that culture, it also indicates His approval of persons who have received healings seeing their physicians for confirmation of the healings. 

b.   Of that group of lepers healed by Jesus, only one returned to express gratitude.  When healing comes, express thanks with praise and worship, and do not be as the nine who failed to return with thanksgiving.[vi]

b. Jesus and the individual (15-19) And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
(1)  One thankful Samaritan  - Jesus healed ten lepers. Only one of the ten, who was a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus for what He had done.
a.    Jesus asking about the other nine expressed amazement at their lack of gratitude.[vii]  Their ingratitude was inexcusable.[1]
b.    Jesus then did a second thing for him—He forgave his sins.
c.    The other nine lepers were healed but were not saved.
d.   Thankfulness should be in the Christian’s heart. Why do you go to church on Sunday? Do you go there to worship God and thank Him for all He has done for you? Part of your worship is to thank Him.
e.   About the only thing we can give to God is our thanksgiving. How wonderful it is just to thank Him.
f.    We are even to make our requests to God with thanksgiving. We ought to have a thankful heart toward Him.[viii]
(2) Nine unthankful Jews

a.   We assume they are Jews because he refers to the one as a foreigner, which implies they are not foreigners.

b.   The Samaritan’s faith was the reason for his cure.  What was the reason for their cure?  Did they have faith?  He has healed some without faith. 

c.   What was the demonstration of faith?  Thanksgiving. 

d.   The Samaritan showed thanks to a Jewish Messiah for his healing. 

e.   The Jews were not thankful, perhaps the nine Jews, felt that healing was their due since they were of the chosen race.[2]l. 

f.    Was it because of their lack of faith?  We don’t know.  They did approach Jesus correctly as Master and they did obey by heading out to the priest.

g.   For Jews, who often despised Samaritans, the last word would be a stinging surprise.[3]

II. INTERPRETATION

·          This is another example of Gentile gratefulness for the blessing of God, while Jews are not. 

·          Both Jew and Gentile are offered cleansing, but it is the outcast that exhibits a  better response.

III. APPLICATIONS

·          I need to be thankful for the work of God in my life.

·          Before I can do that, I must understand that I don’t deserve anything and God doesn’t owe me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1]Thomas Nelson, Inc., Word in Life Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[2]Jack W. Hayford, general editor; consulting editors, Sam Middlebrook…[et.al.], Spirit filled life study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991.

[3]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.



[i]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

[ii]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

[iii]Thomas Nelson, Inc., Word in Life Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[iv]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

[v]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

[vi]Jack W. Hayford, general editor; consulting editors, Sam Middlebrook…[et.al.], Spirit filled life study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991.

[vii]Thomas Nelson, Inc., Word in Life Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[viii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.