Luke 17:11-19, AMP
"As He went on His way to Jerusalem, it occurred that [Jesus] was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. And as He was going into one village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance. And they raised up their voices and called, 'Jesus, Master, take pity and have mercy on us!'
And when He saw them, He said to them, 'Go [at once] and show yourselves to the priests'. And as they went, they were cured and made clean. Then one of them, upon seeing that he was cured, turned back, recognizing and thanking and praising God with a loud voice; And he fell prostrate at Jesus' feet, thanking Him [over and over]. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, 'Were not [all] ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise to God except this alien?' And He said to him, 'Get up and go on your way. Your faith (your trust and confidence that spring from your belief in God) has restored you to health.'"
Leprosy was a horrific disease that repulsed and terrified all who came in contact with it. It was incurable by human means, it was isolating (lepers were confined outside the city limits - many times to the city dump where they could scavenge for food and other things), and it would cause one to become ceremonially unclean if in contact with a leper (even if you didn't specifically catch this disease). Understandably, this often left lepers feeling lonely, rejected, feared, and outcasted.
Samaria was considered to be a land defiled and forsaken by God. Thus, Samaritans, just like the lepers, were also outcasted -- particularly by the Galileans. Samaria was considered the land of "sinners" and no one dared go near it (or them). Yet still, as God would have it, it was the place the Son of God visited and performed one of His greatest miracles. Isn't just like God to want people that are unwanted by so many? God has a way of turning our idiosyncrasies of society upside down. I find it interesting that God would choose to heal a leperous Samaritan. I mean we are talking the worst of the worst here...as if being a Samaritan (illegal alien) wasn't enough, he then had to be a leperous one!
Galilee was the land where the rational, the proud, and the intellectual resided. The Lord had already had an unpleasant experience there because He was "just the Son of a Carpenter" and often looked down upon. Galilee was the place where pride prevailed over conviction, and where Jesus had been refused the most.
The book of Luke was particularly interested in showing Jesus' concern for the oppressed and the poor.
Sometimes it is during the dark times of oppression and opposition that God performs His greatest miracle. Only one of the ten lepers, a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus. Jesus was no doubt, grieved over the ingratitude of the other nine lepers.
I wonder if anyone reading this has ever felt like a "leper". Maybe going through an obstacle, sickness, or disease that has left you feeling oppressed. Maybe you feel hopeless and see no way out of your present situation or circumstance. Maybe you have felt shunned by society, your family, or worse...your church. Maybe at times, you feeling rejected and repulsed by everyone in society. Well I am here to tell you that the time is ripe for a miracle in your life. Hold fast and do not give up! When God brings you through (and He will bring you through), do not forget to go back and thank Him. Better yet, start praising Him and thanking Him now for the miracle He is about to do in your life.
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org.