11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then 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 your selves 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.”
First, I try to imagine Jesus’ life. Once people heard that he could heal and preform great miracles; he was probably always surrounded by hundreds of people who wanted something from him. It probably always took him twice as long to get where he was going, because of all the people. Yet Jesus never seems distracted. He always takes every situation he is faced with, and seems to see it as a divine appointment. Jesus always knew how to answer people, when to preform miracles, and always had an overall gentleness. The Bible says Jesus went often to pray in a secluded area. He took himself away from everything just to focus on his father’s will. I wonder how often we totally seclude our self for prayer, for giving thanks, and the studying of God’s word. No matter the demands of his life, he spent a lot of time praying to know his father’s will. If Jesus is praying constantly, who is God’s Son, how much more should we be face down on the ground praying to know the father’s will? If we do not enter the day with a peace of God’s word, then life will be tough at best. We will always see things as distractions, and not be able to see them as divine appointments. The truth is sometimes the biggest blessings are in the things we do not plan, or maybe even in the things we once considered distractions.
Secondly, we need to look at the men asking for help. There are ten men with leprosy asking Jesus for mercy. Leprosy is a terrible disease. It is a slow death, as well as alienation from everyone they love. It was also humiliating. Every time they came near someone they would have to shout unclean. So Jesus had mercy on the ten lepers, and as they walked to the priest they were healed. If the story stopped there it would not be unusual because Jesus had healed many by this time. However, when one realized he was clean he immediately made his way back to Jesus. He fell on his face before him glorifying, and giving thanks. The ironic part of this story is that he was a Samaritan. Jesus asks the man, “Were there not nine others?” Later in that same verse he says, “but all that returned was this foreigner.” It is quiet possible the other nine were Jews that had been driven out of their communities because of the disease. The only thing that would have been separating them from Jesus would have been the Leprosy. They had every reason to turn in faith toward the Lord, but they turned away resuming their lives. By contrast, a man who had every reason to stay away from Jesus returned and gave glory to what would have normally been his enemy. Because he turned back he not only received physical healing, but was spiritually healed as well. He was able to see Jesus for who he really was.
My final thought is these nine men have been set free from death and alienation, yet they did not once turn to give thanks. Are we not like the nine lepers at times in our life? When problems are resolved, people are healed; a job is gained, salvation is realized, where is the thankfulness of our heart? In the same respect Jesus has also set us free. He has died on the cross to set us free for all of eternity. Romans 8:38-39 says, “38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If Jesus has paid the price, the least we could do is “enter daily into his courts with thanksgiving and praise.” The only thing that could separate us from God is our own choice to say no to his eternal freedom. I ask you today do you know the Lord? If you do not would you accept his eternal freedom today?
John 10:10 one of my favorite verses
…. For I have come to give life, and give it abundantly!