The 10 Lepers: I learned something at VBS

There is a story (parable) in the book of Luke about Jesus healing 10 Lepers . It seems so straight forward that it’s easy to read and move on. I’m sure I’m not the only one who missed some important details. Here’s the story .

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[b] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 27 NIV

We learned today that their bodies were healed instantly , meaning their rotting skin and disintegrating or missing body parts grew back . Can you imagine ? They were all eventually going to die from the horrible disease of leprosy up until the moment Jesus healed them. But strangely only one of the ten returned to express his gratitude . We aren’t told what the others did , but we can assume they went to the authorities to be declared healed so they could re-enter society . I’m sure they were very happy ! But the one who turned back , he had been healed in another way.

Jesus told the Samaritan , an enemy of the Jews, that his FAITH had saved him. His gratitude was an expression of what was in his heart, the understanding that only God could do this miracle . Jesus saw that this man believed in God. Although he had compassionately healed all ten lepers, only this man demonstrated a change of heart.

This reminds me of how Jesus didn’t always limit his miracles to believers . He fed the thousands knowing that many were there listening to him with the wrong motives. He did miracles for his own reasons , out of obedience to his Father. Some saw them and accused him of being demon-possessed . Others declared that he was the Son of God.

What struck me today while listening to the story was that this story seems to be simply that God wants us to be thankful for his mercy , and yes, he does. But also it teaches that not everyone will thank God for the mercies they receive . All of us live in a beautiful world that God made, but not everyone believes in Him. We all benefit daily from God intervening on our behalf, healing diseases we may not even be aware of yet , diverting danger , guiding us through trouble , and providing the basics and luxuries for us. And yet , myths like Evolution and denial of absolute truth are flourishing .

People sometimes wonder how they can know if they’re truly saved from the punishment of sin . If you are saved you will feel gratitude to God like this one leper ! You will recognize that you were a rotten , terminal , outcast from heaven until Jesus worked the miracle of salvation trough his death and resurrection . Your skin may not have been rotting but your soul was and you were lost and separated from your father God . You know you’re not perfect in your daily life , although you’re trying to let God change you , and you feel grateful that Jesus has forgiven you already. You know that your good behavior doesn’t save you, only Jesus could do that.

If you don’t feel a deep sense of gratitude , turn to God . Let go of the pride that is your false hope. Everything you have is thanks to God’s mercy and patient love for you . Will you believe it ?

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7 comments

  1. I think that this is a powerful message that the mercy of Jesus is for everyone, not just a chosen people.

    You wrote: ‘myths like Evolution…’. The scientific theory of evolution does not interfere or contradict the belief that God created everything. I don’t think that these are mutually exclusive ideas to hold in your head. That said, I don’t guess that it really matters whether or not you believe the theory of evolution is valid unless you are a scientist working in that field. Maybe this is like believing in the electromagnetic theory if you are not an electrical engineer.

    • I think the important part is believing that God is the creator of the world . Schools teach evolution but they leave out that part . I suppose Christians could believe in a gradual creation but it doesn’t really fit what it says in Genesis.

      • If you read Genesis according to the same context that you would read a contemporary historical book written according to modern scholastic standards. I think that most of us were educated to read in modern terms and in a modern context and that people from thousands of years ago just did not write this way, as modern education did not exist yet.

        I think that Genesis is an ancient book, written from oral tradition, in an ancient style to an audience of very poorly educated farmers and shepherds. I think in that context, it is a story of the truth of creation and faith as told by metaphor in the same way that Jesus often preached by metaphor depending on his audience.

        Another interesting thing is how listening to a physicist describe how the big bang created the universe from nothing is similar to listening to someone describe how God created the universe from nothing. Perhaps both are true in their own way. Impossible to prove either way.

        But I don’t think that science and faith are either/or. I have a science degree and a professional engineer, which is a scientist. I am also a believing Christian.

      • I’m not clear on what you’re saying. Are you saying God created the world through a ‘big bang’ but that it took millions of years? And do you believe that God created man and animals or that all creatures evolved from a one cell organism? I see no reason God would put the creation account into his inspired Word if man evolved from animals.

  2. Amen 🙏🏽 great post, my friend. It’s easy at times, for me to regard the Lord’s blessings as my due, as if I’ve the right to them. When I remember that I deserve only God’s wrath because of my sin, then I understand that I need to exercise gratefulness

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