Luke 17:11 ¶ On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.
Luke 17:12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance
Luke 17:13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
Luke 17:14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.
Luke 17:15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;
Luke 17:16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?
Luke 17:18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Luke 17:19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
This is one of my favorites of all of Jesus’ miracles. Not just because it’s awesome for Him to heal people with leprosy, but because of Leviticus 13. We aren’t going to go there, but that’s where God gave Moses the instructions on what sacrifices and offerings to do when someone was healed of leprosy. The thing is, there is no record in rabbinical history that this ever happened before.
Over time, the rabbis taught that only the Messiah could heal a Jewish person of leprosy. (Elisha healed Naaman but he was a gentile, so they considered that differently.) If only the Messiah can heal a person with leprosy, what does that mean? That means that not only does Jesus have the power to heal sickness, but He also has the power to heal the impossible sicknesses.
Can you imagine being the priest on duty when some of these guys came in and said they got healed? I know I’m overly influenced by The Chosen show and other movies, but what if that priest stood there amazed, tears in his eyes, and said “It was by Jesus from Nazareth, wasn’t it?”
Ok, I made that scene up, but still, those Levites had to look up a section of Torah always memorized but never performed to make those guys clean.
But that’s not the point of the event that Jesus focuses on. One guy was a foreigner and he didn’t value the works of the Law. He valued thanking Jesus. That is a great foreshadowing of what Paul would talk about in Romans and what Peter would later discover over a dinner.
Jesus came to heal us all and to free us from the burdens of the Law. The way of life for us now (which is the best translation of Torah) is one of thankfulness to Jesus instead of the works of sacrifice and cleansing. A life of thankfulness and telling Jesus “Thank You!” over and over wins out over the works of the Law.
This is the Law of love, and just as Jesus has saved us from many things, the life of love and thankfulness is what He has saved us into.
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