Ten lepers seeking to be healed! Outcast from society! Shunned away and rejected! No one with a desire to live free of this condition would get remotely close to them. People with this disease would often go hungry, thirsty, cold, die of sickness from it or exposure to the environment.
Leprosy is commonly spoken about in the Bible, starting in the old testament. In Leviticus 13 God had given guidelines to the Israelites about what to do if someone was suspected of this disease. There were specific instructions for the leprous person as well as for those that were clean. The priest was the one to make the diagnosis.
So what is Leprosy and why is it used in the bible so often? Why does Jesus give us examples of its presence and the healing that He provided to such people? In a short view of it, leprosy is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the skin and peripheral nervous system. It’s physical symptoms are severe disfiguring, skin sores and nerve damage. It also affects the eyes causing vision problems to include blindness.
The person affected by this disease often looses the ability to sense pain which is the warning system that allow us to be aware that something is wrong. In the picture I am using for today’s blog, the person got her hands burned because her lack of pain sensation.
Are you seeing what I am seeing? Sin does the same to us. The more we allow it in our lives, the more immune we become to sensing its destroying powers. If we give Jesus any credit at all, we have to take Him at His word that sin does to our soul and our Spirit what we physically see leprosy does to the body.
In our scripture today, ten lepers were cleansed by Jesus! They understood what was going on with their physical bodies as it was seen, it was known. The Israelites and the Samaritans did not get along but in times like these they were together, for in such a state, nothing else mattered. They were seeking survival! Oh, to be normal again!
They raised their voices saying “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Jesus was not afraid of their condition! He immediately healed them! He said: “Go show yourselves to the priests” You are healed. The priests were to make it official and allow them to be returned to their homes and family again!
Normal again! Free from sickness! go, go.. For eleven of them could only see their physical healing! This was good! but one of them wanted to give back to the giver! He was thankful and seeing outside of himself he knew someone needed praises! thankfulness! He came back to Jesus and glorified God! Worshipped his healer and bowed down and thanked Him!
Why does Luke tell us the man was a Samaritan? Perhaps to show that Jesus had no distinctions. He is seeking for all, wherever we are! For the Samaritans were not a people who worshipped God only. They were a mixture of people that had other gods. This Samaritan came to understand who the true God was and was received with open arms by Jesus.
Jesus said to him: ” Where there not ten cleansed? but the other nine, where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner? And He said to the man: “Stand up and go, your faith has made you well”
Made you well? What about the nine? were they not well then? Yes, Physically they got healed but they forgot or failed to know that there was a sickness that was greater than their physical one which desperately needed healing! Their Spiritual healing was not completed that day. The one that took time to be grateful and focus on Jesus did!
They all had called Jesus their Master but was Jesus really their Master? Jesus certainly didn’t think so. He questioned their lack of gratitude. They grabbed on to their answered prayer and away they went! back into their previous life! Didn’t they know Jesus wanted to give them much more?
The Samaritan got something greater than the healing of his leprous covered body for he also got his leprous covered spirit cleansed as well! He got to leave brand new! reborned! He got to enter into a kingdom living phase, through Jesus, he entered into the Kingdom of God even if still living on this Earth.
When the pharisees questioned Jesus on verses 20 and 21 as to when the Kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said: “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say Look, here it is! or there it is! For the Kingdom of God is in your midst.
Friend, is your faith making you well? Are you focusing on Jesus today? How many times has He rescued you from struggles? If you are like me, many times! Did you take the time to come back, worship at his feet and thank him? have you made him your Master or do you only seek him when there are physical signs of distress?
If you call on Him and say Master, trust him when He tells you that without Him there is leprosy in your Spirit that needs healing. Take him at His word and accept His offer to restore you into His kingdom. Pray to accept Him in your heart and spend time listening to Him. His word, the Bible, is full of answers for you and me aside from the day-to-day walk with Him.