Sermon notes from 1999 on Luke 17:12-19 The 10 Lepers
Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
They were lepers
They were respectful, they were obedient, they were humble
And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
They were reverent, faithful, pathetic, needy, helpless, desperate
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.
Jesus was commanding, directing, ready to achieve, filled with power. He orders them to act as if they are already cleansed. They have been but don’t yet realize it!
They were obedient
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned
They were self centered, unobservant and self absorbed – they were self-satisfied, they got what they wanted. Were the others not happy? Were they not amazed at God? At their healing? Only one in ten could see. They were blind not just leperous, only one saw that!
and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
He was happy, he was grateful, he was a foreigner, he was a stranger
So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
Was God unhappy with the foreigner’s thanks? Would God not listen to it? Or is this a miraculous sign, God’s love is not limited to Jews. God loves other people, including the diseased and disfigured, and foreigners.
“Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
Jesus was dismayed. Had his word proved powerless and empty? Or did the healed lepers not connect their healing to Jesus? He had spoke to them as if they were already cleansed. Only one clearly understood Jesus command for them to go was what healed them. Only one recognized Jesus as having the power of God. The others had experienced the power of God, but in their blind obedience, in their literalistic thinking, they failed to see what had transpired – they failed to understand that the healing meant they had encountered God in Christ.
And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
He was healing. The other was healed, and enlightened. He was immersed in Christ and resurrected.