Scriptural text: Leviticus 13, 14, Luke 5:12-16;17:11-19
The Plight of the Leper (Leviticus 13:45-46).
When the priest pronounced the leper as unclean, it put a stop to his business in the world: cut him off from his friends and relations, and ruined all the comfort he could have in the world. He had to humble himself under the mighty hand of God, not insisting upon his cleanness, when the priest pronounced him unclean, but accepting the punishment. The leper must warn others to take heed of his coming near him. He had to warn others approaching him by making the statement, “Unclean, unclean!” He was shut out of the camp, and lived in a colony outside of the town or village, and dwelt with none but those that were lepers like himself.
The Request of the Ten (Luke 17:11-14).
As Jesus and his disciples traveled and entered a certain village. The text states that Jesus was met by ten men, all of whom were lepers. They stood at a distance and cried out to Jesus. They did not cry, “Unclean, unclean” as the Law required. Rather, they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” In verse 14, “When he saw them, Jesus was deeply moved by their plight and commanded that they “go shew yourselves unto the priests.” Jesus never touched them nor did He announce that they had been healed. They were healed as they obeyed. They simply needed to show themselves to the priests.
The Return of the One (Luke 17:15-19).
All of the lepers were healed, but only one of them realized that this was a miraculous act of God. One of the men felt that he could not go to the priest without giving God thanks for his miracle of grace. He cried out with a loud voice glorifying God, praising God, and thanking God.
In verses 17-18, Jesus asked the one three rhetorical questions: “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except the foreigner?” Those who definitely should have given thanks to God were the nine who were Jews, who more than likely knew of the signs of the coming kingdom of God. Yet, they turned and never looked back, never acknowledged anything. Jesus recognized the man’s faith and said to him that none of the others thought enough of what God had done to give Him His due honor. Jesus said to the Samaritan, “Arise, go thy way : thy faith hath made thee whole (verse 19).” In acknowledging Jesus’ place in God’s act of healing, he experienced complete salvation.
References: Matthew Henry Commentary, Townsend Press S. S. Commentary