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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


25. The Healing of Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)

LUKE 17:11-19
11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 The as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.

Christ Jesus is the strong Savior who brings order to a disordered world, and establishes the kingdom of heaven on earth. His followers at the time did not realize his global aim, but felt the current of God’s power that went out of the Nazarene, as he raised the dead, stilled the storm, cleansed the lepers, and offered his mercy to all the poor who resorted to him. He became widely known even in the village where he met ten outcast lepers who lived on the border between Galilee and Samaria. One of the lepers was a despised Samaritan. But their common distress united them in spite of their tribal difference.

When this miserable group heard that Jesus would shortly pass near them, they went up to a high place, which enabled them to see him and call him from afar without causing annoyance to the multitude that followed him. Their hope turned into strong longing and abiding trust. They put all their hearts into their cry when they called, “Jesus, have mercy on us.” Do you know this cry in your heart?

Jesus has always answered whoever cries out to him for mercy. Accordingly Jesus stopped, looked at the helpless men aware of their disturbed faith, and called to them saying only one strange statement, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Christ did not say to them, “Be cleansed”, but “Go and believe in me and in my word that you may experience your cure gradually as far as you believe.” This group set out slowly and hopefully. They had the courage to trust Christ’s word, but were afraid of the ridicule and punishment of the public. Yet as they started their journey, they became cured. The more they moved forward, the more their skin became renewed and their lost fingers began to grow. So they ran and rejoiced. They experienced that faith in Christ had cleansed them. This wonderful event was a miracle. Here was a wholesale cure, for ten men were healed at once and became renewed in Jesus Christ.

They hurried to the priests to receive a certificate from them that they were clean, so that they might again be restored to the society of their relatives and friends. But one of them, a strange Samaritan, thought differently. He knew gradually that a divine miracle had taken place in him, and that the Nazarene was not an ordinary man, but God himself. As he became convinced of this, he turned back at once toward Jesus, glorifying God for forgiving his sins and curing him completely. He did not go to the priests first, nor did he fear that the disease would return to him for disobeying Christ’s command, but he wanted to see his Savior, and give thanks to him. So when he approached the Nazarene, he fell down on his face, and worshiped him confessing his full commitment, as if he were saying to him, “Master! You are my Lord and I am your own. Do to me as you wish.” His thanks was his full commitment.

Jesus did not refuse the man’s worship, his self-offering, and his deep gratitude, for Christ is true God from true God, worthy of receiving worship, honor, and glory. Jesus did not become proud because of this honoring, or because of his success in the world, for he was lowly in heart. He rather had deep sorrow in his heart, for only one of the ten, that is, the foreigner, knew who Jesus was, forgot about himself, returned to honor him with his worship and prayer. Jesus inquired about the nine Jews who did not thank him for his help. They were full of joy but forgot to give thanks. Our appeal to God is easy, and the response is certain. It is rather a great joy. But our thanks are few. In the world there are two astonishing facts: God’s continuous love in spite of men’s ingratitude and men’s continuous ingratitude in spite of the blessed love of God.

Jesus addressed the Samaritan who worshipped him saying, “Your faith has made you well.” This word does not indicate the incomplete belief of the Samaritan, but his belief in Jesus through hope, trust, boldness of faith, experience of the power of God, and thankful praise in full commitment. Christ assured this man of complete salvation, for the healed man became sure of the love of God. This leper was not good in himself, but represented impurity. He did not offer any sacrifice or good deeds for his salvation, only trust in Jesus. He experienced the power of the word of God in the Nazarene’s words. As such we advise you to hold fast to Jesus, and thank him for all his gifts, that you may be filled with power, joy, and gladness. Do not remain unthankful, but give thanks and careful consideration to every answered prayer, and blessing from God, that you may not lack an attitude of thankfulness. Praise your Lord with all your heart, and do not be slow in praising him.

PRAYER: O heavenly Father, thank you that you gave your only Son for us that we ungrateful might become thankful. We worship you, and commit ourselves into your hands, now and forever. We confess that Jesus Christ is true God, and his Spirit dwells in our hearts. Preserve us that throughout our lives we may praise your grace.

QUESTION 107: How does the healed man’s thankfulness match his faith?


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