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Luke 17:11-19New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between
Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had
leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice,
Jesus, Master, have pity on us!
14 When he saw them, he said, Go, show yourselves to the priests. And as they
went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud
voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked himand he was a
17 Jesus asked, Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no
one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? 19 Then he said to
him, Rise and go; your faith has made you well.
1. Luke 17:12 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for
various diseases affecting the skin.

1. Luke 17:12 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various
diseases affecting the skin.
The story is well-known. Jesus cures ten lepers, sending them to the priests who would
then authorize the cured lepers to return healed to their families. The tale could have
ended here. However the evangelist is interested in pointing out the reaction of one of
Once cured, the lepers disappear from the scene. We know nothing of them. It seems as
if nothing has changed in their lives. However one of them finds himself cured and
understands that something great has been given him: God is the source of that healing.
All worked up, he returns praising God at the top of his voice and thanking Jesus.

This story starts out recounting the healing of a group of ten lepers near Samaria.
This time around Luke doesnt stop to detail the healing, but zeroes in on the reaction of
one of the lepers when he finds himself cured. The gospel writer carefully describes his
whole journey, since he wants to shake the routine-plagued faith of not a few Christians.

Jesus has asked the lepers to present themselves to the priests to get the clearance that
allows them back into society. But one of them, a Samaritan, when he realizes hes been
cured, instead of going to the priests, returns to seek out Jesus.

When he meets Jesus, he threw himself prostrate at his feet and thanked him. His
companions have gone on their way to meet with the priests, but this one knows that
Jesus is his only Savior. Thats why hes here next to him giving thanks. In Jesus hes
found Gods best gift.

At the end of this story, Jesus speaks out and asks three questions that express his
surprise and his sadness at whats happened. They arent directed to the Samaritan
whos there at his feet. They sum up the message that Luke wants the Christian
communities to hear.
A few years ago Pope Benedict warned that an agnostic whos seeking can be closer
to God than a routine-plagued Christian whos just there for tradition or heritage. A faith
that doesnt generate joy and thanksgiving in believers is a faith that is sick.

(v.19) Jesus cured all ten lepers. Only to the one who returned to give thanks,
did he say "You faith has saved you?" The salvation the leper had gained is
clearly more than a physical healing. That is why Jesus wanted the other nine
lepers to return, not to show them his disappointment, but because he had
more to give them