Summary: Lepers were considered infected folk that could not live within the camp. The disease was dreadful and caused ulcers on their bodies that were putrid, oozing, foul-smelling and horrific to look upon. Are you the one?
(12) And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: (13) And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. (14) And 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. (15) And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, 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) And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
This village location is somewhere between Galilee and Samaria and there is an ethnic divide in this region: Sounds a bit like the world we are living in today!
We begin our biblical narrative field trip by observing the undesired state of (10) pathetic lepers:
These were considered infected folk that could not live within the camp. The disease was dreadful and caused ulcers on their bodies that were putrid, oozing, foul-smelling and horrific to look upon.
Lepers were for the most part unloved and if fortunate survived on the generosity of surviving family members or merciful people!
In verse 12 we see these lepers: Stood afar off- Because they were outcasts of society and considered ceremonially unclean.
In verse 13 it notes these lepers:
Lifted (raised) their voices [describe the courage it took and invited annoyance and ridicule it might have provoked] . . .
The lepers cried out . . . Jesus, Master . . .
As the One who was able to command the dreadful disease of leprosy to depart!
As they have seen Jesus do for others on countless occasions.
Have MERCY- Mercy can be defined as, “an unearned blessing bestowed by God on an unworthy recipient” (Roper).
In verse 14 we find JESUS’ RESPONSE
First, Jesus saw them- Describe how the lepers must have felt: excited, fearful, hopeful!
Next, Jesus, instructed the lepers to GO, Show yourselves to the priests!
Many note, there is no touch involved in this exchange. From Jesus standpoint it was never needed; usually for the inferior faith of humanity!
AND IT CAME TO PASS …. [These are beautiful words found many times in God’s Word- 65 times in the New Testament] . . . AS THEY WENT . . . They were cleansed (NOTICE: their faith was demonstrated by their act of obedience) . . . If you add resin and hardener you get a workable epoxy: likewise when you act out of obedience [the agent] you get a demonstration of genuine faith [the result of true obedience].
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Miracles are also the insignia of Christ’s deity—“a constitutive element of the revelation of God in Christ”—and Messiahship (John 2:11; 11:4; Matthew 11:4-6; Acts 2:20; 10:38)” (Lockyer, 14)
In John 2:11, it states, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
HERE IS WHERE THE STORY GETS DOWNRIGHT INTERESTING
We read in verse 15, when, one of them, when he saw that he was healed,
Turned back . . . AND
With a loud voice glorified God . . . AND
Fell down on his face at his feet . . . AND
Giving him thanks . . . AND
It is noted this ONE was a Samaritan!
What happened to the other 9?
Perhaps, they got what they wanted and were no longer interested in Jesus?
Maybe, they thought they were being obedient and continued towards the priests (the idea of religiosity) and failed to truly understand true response would have been to praise and worship Christ with a grateful heart? MANY TODAY ARE FOLLOWING THE PATHWAY OF RELIGIOSITY. Trying to please the priests (pastors) and not the High Priest (God the Son, Jesus Christ).
I want to STRESS an important point in our story . . . Let’s let the Psalmist help us make this CRITICAL POINT!
We find in Psalm 69:30-31, David cries out!
(30) I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (31) This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
Here the psalmist is stressing the supremacy of praise and worship over sacrifice!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: LETS MAKE SOME APPLICATIONS . . .
First, we once were plagued (or you still are) by our leprous condition of sin (Rom. 6:23). We were:
Eternally separated from God.
Ceremonially unclean to approach the Throne of God.
THEN, PRAISE GOD (and prayerfully WE CAN ALL SAY THIS) the Holy Spirit of God entered the deep darkened regions of our hearts!