Scripture Commentary — Luke 17:11-19
Luke 17:11-19 — Ten lepers healed, true gratitude
- Verse 11:
- “passed through Samaria” – Samaritans were part Israelite, part Gentile, detested by Jews. Why would Jesus go there? Compassion, service, to show acceptance.
- Verse 12:
- “entered village” – Jesus didn’t avoid outsiders, He included and accepted
- “afar off” – leprosy was highly infectious, lepers couldn’t enter cities, they had to say ‘unclean’ whenever coming into contact with others, leprosy was referred to as “living death”, the ears, nose, and fingers were severely affected
- Verse 13:
- “lifted up” – they were not shy, they displayed great faith, did they know of Jesus’ coming?
- “Master” – they recognized who He was, and showed great respect and honor by using the term ‘Master’
- “Mercy” – they had the faith to beg for mercy, not to demand immediate healing, apparently all ten of them had great faith in Jesus
- Verse 14:
- “unto the priest” – this implied healing because only priests could pronounce someone ‘clean’. They had no other reason to go to the priests. They knew they were lepers. Jesus showed deference and respect to the laws of Moses under which Judah still worshiped.
- “as they went” – healed AFTER they obeyed. This was a display of GREAT faith. Message for us? Take the first step, venture into the darkness with faith that light will shine, ‘do and then you will know’. Imagine the joy they experienced as they walked and then realized they had been made clean.
- Verse 15:
- “one of them…” – All ten were healed, but just one desired to return. His gratitude overrode the Savior’s instruction to go to priests. By law he should have gone to the priest first. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus was still in His original place when the healed leper returned? Perhaps Jesus perceived that one or more would return to express thanks. He is always where we expect Him to be.
- Verse 16:
- “loud voice..glorified..down on face..thanks” – True gratitude! How do we show our gratitude?
- “a Samaritan” – again Jesus set aside the usual animosity shown toward Samaritans. How ironic that it was a Samaritan who returned and thanked!
- Verse 17:
- “ten cleansed” – Jesus knew by his seer-ship and prophetic gift that all ten were healed, His power, His discernment, His knowledge, His authority were perfect.
- “the nine” – they obeyed Him, but were not sufficiently grateful.
- Verse 18:
- “glory to God” – not glory to ME, but glory to the Father. I am here to do HIS will! No spotlight on Me, but on the Father!
- Verse 19:
- “arise” – he had been on his face the whole time, great example of humility and gratitude.
- “whole” – not just healed or cleansed, but now ‘whole’, physically AND spiritually
Lessons to glean from this beautiful story:
- Harold B. Lee – “How has the Lord’s hand blessed my life today?”
- Doctrine and Covenants 59:21 – “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is His wrath kindled, save those who confess not His hand in all things…”
- Accepting of all (outcasts, undesirables, unreceptive, uninterested, etc.)
- Turn around, look back, be grateful, express thanks, recognize blessings
- Imagine the lepers as they were healed as they walked to see the priests, watching their body parts be restored. Imagine ourselves as he heals us!
- Mosiah 2:20-24 “…if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants…”
- Jesus can heal from a distance, at a time when we feel isolated or removed, perhaps when we consider ourselves “spiritual lepers”.
- Often overlooked blessings include: deliverance (Psalms 35:18), God’s love (Psalms 52:9), God hearing us (Psalms 118:21), safe arrival (Acts 25:18), other saints (Romans 1:8), gift of salvation (Romans 6:17), strength to overcome (Romans 7:25), prayer (1 Corinthians 14:18), resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:57), deliverance from persecution (2 Corinthians 2:14), sustaining fellow saints (2 Corinthians 8:16), those who hear God’s word (1 Thessalonians 2:13), service (1 Timothy 1:12), godly attributes (Revelation 4:9)
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