Summary: A message for thanksgiving about remembering to give thanks unto the Lord.
A Reason for Thanks
Theme: To show that there is always a reason to give thanks unto the Lord
(12) Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
Lepers and Leprosy
Leprosy is a terrible skin disease. It starts with the skin falling and can lead up to whole limbs being lost.
According to Leviticus 13 when a person was diagnosed with leprosy they were considered unclean. This means that they had to be separated from the public.
Tradition says that as a leper would walk through the crowd they were required to yell, "unclean, unclean". This was a warning to the others.
So leprosy was not physically debilitating but also emotional hurt. There was more loss that just physical health but relationships and family and lively hood.
(13) And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
When the lepers saw Jesus they began to cry. You could imagine that this was not a low cry but it was a loud persistent cry. They were doing what they could to get his attention.
What did they cry out?
Jesus - this was His common name. But what changes is what this name is combined with.
Master ἐπιστάτης epistatēs an appointee over, that is, commander (teacher): - master.
This is what His purpose was. He is an appointee of the Lord. The commander of all the Lord has given to this generation. The Savior of the world bringing salvation to all.
Luk 4:17-21 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: (18) "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; (19) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." (20) Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. (21) And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
This shows the purpose of Jesus coming.
Mercy - God's favor, God's grace, God's unmerited blessing
(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.
"when he saw them" - What does it take to get Jesus attention, faith. Jesus saw them, we can know that God is always looking for a way to bless us.
2Ch 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars."
It is interesting Jesus response to their requests. "Go, show yourselves to the priests".
Why show themselves to the priests?
It was the priest that had declared them unclean. It was the priests who took away their relationships - family, friends and associates. It was the priests who took away their ability to work and be around others.
So it was the priests who declare them clean.
They can get their family back, their friends back, their worship back.
When were they cleansed? "as they went". This was the acting on their faith. They could have just said, "I believe, I believe" but never done anything. Yet they would have never seen the difference. Faith is not just that which we say but faith is action.
James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
One man said FAITH is: Forward Action Inspired Through Him
(15) And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
As the story goes all nine left and headed to the priest. When one of the lepers noticed he was healed he headed back to the master. He was suppose to go to the priest. This was going to change his life. He was never going to be the same again. But remember it was the priest that declared this. He had to get there. So why do he go back he wanted to give the Lord the praise no matter what other's thought. God was most important.
The ending verses give us a hint:
(19) And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well." He was complete he was whole he was healed. Not just physically but also spiritually. He was resored.