Ten Lepers healed
Luke 17:12-19 – 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? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Verse 11, And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
I. This miracle takes place toward the very end of the earthly ministry of Christ.
A. Comparing John 11, the resurrection of Lazarus, with John 12:1 reveals Lazarus was resurrected just a few days before the crucifixion of Christ.
B. The healing of the ten lepers occurs after the resurrection of Lazarus, but before John 12:1.
II. Christ always displayed His Godhead, because he always does his Father’s will. So it should be with us.
III. This village is nameless, yet we know it is located between Samaria and Galilee.
A. These two areas were some 45-50 miles apart.
1. There are many towns and villages in this area.
2. There are many places on this earth that are unknown to mankind, but they are all known to Jesus Christ.
3. There are many people who live in these nameless areas, but Christ is very aware of them all.
B. It is no accident that Christ traveled this way.
1. He …must needs go through Samaria, John 4:4.
2. The woman at the well lived at Samaria, and Christ would save her wicked, hell bound soul.
3. Christ must go through this particular nameless city because there are 10 lepers there that must be healed, and one that must be saved.
Verse 12, And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
I. There are 10 of these lepers, yet they all suffered individually.
A. They have an incurable disease, which is a type of sin.
1. II Kings 5:27 – the leprosy of Naaman clinging to his servant, Gehazi, shows that leprosy can be compared to a type of sin.
2. II Chronicles 26:21 relates the story of Uzziah, who attempted to burn incense, which was the office of the priests.
a. The leprosy rose up in his forehead as he desecrated the office of priesthood.
b. He remained a leper the remainder of his life, living in a separate house.
B. They might all have had families before they were afflicted with leprosy.
1. They all fall equally under the condemnation of the law, regardless of their station in life before they got leprosy.
2. All of these men are equally unable to save or help themselves.
C. There are many lost people in this present world, but their companions in sin do not make their condemnation any less.
1. There are many sinners in this world, but they are condemned individually.
2. Every sinner will pay individually for their individual sins.
II. They stood afar off as commanded in Lev. 13:45-46.
A. Leviticus 13:45-46 states, And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. 46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.
1. They would cry “unclean, unclean” to all within any distance of them.
a. Sinners can be taught to realize they are lost, but until the Holy Spirit of God touches them with their utter sinfulness and helplessness before God they will not cry “unclean, unclean” from their heart.
b. As soon as God opens their eyes to their fallen condition, they will call out to God in their utter helplessness for his eternal salvation.
B. Compare to Matthew 8:2 to the leper who came to Christ, desiring to be healed.
1. This leper disobeyed the command of God to cry “unclean, unclean”, yet he was accepted by Christ
2. The leper of Matthew 8:2 and Luke 17 are both right because both came to Christ, and did not wait on Christ to come to them.
III. This is a pitiful sight. Describe leprosy.
Verse 13, And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
I. These ten lepers were united in their cry to God, because of their mutual affliction.
A. Many Baptists today are not united in their cry to God because we seem to be self-satisfied, and complete in ourselves.
1. Most of the crying we do is not toward God for his help but against each other because of our petty grievances against each other.
a. I believe we are too much at ease to do much crying to God.
b. We are too self-satisfied and complacent with our present situation and circumstance.
2. One of the reasons God sends troubles upon us is because we do not cry out to him in thankfulness, and sometimes we do not cry out to him anytime, but rather complain when things do not go our way.
B. These lepers do not ask for justice, but for mercy.
1. They probably didn’t willingly expose themselves to leprosy, they just got the disease.
2. Lost people are born into sin, they don’t willingly become sinners.
a. There are some religions which teach the men become sinners by choice, but they are wrong.
b. According to Ephesians 2:1-3, men are dead in trespasses and sins, and cannot keep from sinning.
3. They find themselves in this terrible condition.
4. And they are condemned to death.
Verse 14, And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
I. There is a simple remedy for sinfulness and for healing in our bodies.
A. There are two things Christ required for their healing.
1. The first is faith in the Word of God, and the second is obedience to the Word of God.
2. This is what God requires of lost people.
3. They must first believe the Word of God, then their believing will cause them to be obedient to the Word of God.
B. These ten lepers started going to show themselves to the priests before they were healed.
1. If the men had waited until they felt better to show themselves to the priests, they would never get the job done.
2. Lost men should always obey the commands of God, even if they do not feel like obeying, and before they see or feel any results of obedience.
II. It was by faith that the lepers went to the priest.
A. They were healed …as they went…, not before they went.
1. They were healed as they went, therefore the priests could take no credit for their healing.
2. Levities 13 and 14 describes how the priests could only declare what was leprosy and when it was healed.
a. The priests, like us and the Lord’s true churches, are not supposed to be making laws, or judging the laws of God.
b. Our job is to observe what Christ has done, and glorify him because of his wondrous works.
c. Our worshipping God should turn all those that follow us toward God, never toward us.
3. Naaman was healed by obeying the words of the prophet.
4. Because the lepers were healed as they went, the priests could not take the credit for their healing, but would know Christ has healed them.
B. It was necessary for Christ to direct the lepers to the priests because Israel still had the oracles (or authority) of God, which would soon be given to the newly formed Jewish church (before the day of Pentecost).
C. Lev. 14 gives the description of the proper cleansing as prescribed under the law of Moses.
Verse 15, And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
I. This man turned back to glorify God before or after he showed himself to the priests.
A. I personally believe he turned back to glorify God after he showed himself to the priests because he was commanded to show himself to the priest as a part of his healing.
1. I do not disagree with those who believe the leper returned to Christ before he showed himself to the priests, but it seems more obedient to go to the priests first, then return to Christ.
2. The man glorified God with a loud voice. Just as loud a voice as he had cried for cleansing.
B. The healing made the Samaritan very thankful, it also made him very humble.
Verse 16, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
I. He was a Samaritan.
A. Remember the parable of the “Good Samaritan”, Luke 10:29-37.
1. Many people that are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ never give themselves totally and completely to the Saviour.
2. They are saved, but never join the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. They never follow Him in scriptural baptism and faithful service by assembling themselves with other believers.
4. They may come on Sunday, especially Sunday morning, but seldom, if ever, on Sunday night or Wednesday night.
B. Many are saved, but few will separate themselves from the world.
1. Revelation 3:4 - There are a few names in Sardis which have not defiled themselves with this world.
2. Matthew 21:31,32 - Publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before many of the Jews.
Verse 17, And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
I. Jesus knew there were exactly 10 lepers, not just a group of lepers.
A. Christ also knows exactly how many people are on this earth, who they are, where they live, and all about them.
1. Nobody will ever be able to slip into heaven or hell without his knowledge and/or consent.
2. Christ is able to count the number of the stars, therefore it is no small thing for Him to count the number of lepers He healed.
B. Many call out to God when they are in trouble, but few return to God to thank him for deliverance.
1. Many are the prayer request we hear in our church, but few are those that return to thank us or God for praying and for God’s deliverance.
Verse 18, There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
I. Thanking God for his blessings is the same thing as giving glory to God.
A. Many of us would like to glorify God, but we seldom remember to thank God for his daily blessings and help.
1. We somehow believe that giving glory to God is done in church services, or other public places, but we forget that even in public places, we must privately give glory to God.
B. The man was called a stranger because he was a Samaritan.
1. It would seem “natural” for the Jews to be thankful, but when a stranger to Israel is thankful, that is indeed a marvelous thing.
2. The Samaritan, the one most hated by the Jews, is more thankful than the Jews.
Verse 19, And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
I. Two things here:
A. If the man had not previously gone to the priest, then Christ instructs him to go to the priest as he was commanded so he could return to society, or
B. Christ instructs him to go about his daily life, as the woman taken in adultery (John 8:11) … Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
1. The man was not commanded to follow Christ, which would be some sort of legalism or “reimbursement” for his healing.
2. Neither the leper or the woman taken in adultery was to return to the former life of wickedness and sins, but the Holy Spirit of God would draw them to complete service to God.
3. It is good to follow Christ, but not out of obligation.
4. We should all follow Christ out of gratitude, because we want to follow him.
II. If this man had already received physical healing, what did Christ mean when he said, …Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
A. The tenth leper may have received healing of his soul, or salvation, after he received healing of his body.
1. There are many whose bodies are healed by Christ, whose souls are not healed. Whatever the tenth leper received, he received in addition to the healing of his body, and he received that which the nine lepers did not receive.
2. There is a believing to the healing of the body, which the nine lepers had, and there is a believing to the salvation of the soul, which the one had.
B. I am unsure what the tenth leper received, but I know that some receive more from God than others.
1. Part of the reason is that they do more than God commanded.
2. The ten lepers were all commanded to show themselves to the priests and they would be healed.
3. This they did.
4. The one leper not only showed himself to the priest, but returned to glorify God and to thank Jesus Christ.
5. Today, there are those that do exactly what God commanded, and receive exactly what God gives them. There are also those that do more than God commanded, thanking Him for the great blessings upon their lives, and therefore receiving greater blessings than they previously thought possible.
III. The following three scriptures give evidence that a person can receive more than they thought possible by simply returning to Christ, and thanking Him and glorifying God for the blessings they have received.
A. The man with the palsy, who was healed and saved at the same time.
1. Matthew 9:1-6 - And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
B. Luke 7:48-50 - The woman who was healed of seven devils and was a sinner (probably a prostitute) was told her sins were forgiven her after she quit being a sinner (prostitute).
C. Luke 8:48 - The woman that had the issue of blood for seven years and was healed by Christ (unawares) was told to be of good comfort, her faith had made her whole, go in peace.