You’d think that gratitude would come naturally to most, especially to those who have no hope or other recourse, but the human heart and mind is at times fickle. In today’s study we will consider our own readiness for gratitude and what preoccupies our mind.
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Section 120a | Healing of ten Lepers while passing through Samaria and Galilee
Traveling through Samaria and Galilee
11 As he was on his way to Jerusalem,1 he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered into a certain village,2 ten men who were lepers3 met him, who stood at a distance.4 13 They lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”5 14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed.6 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God7 with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet,8 giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus answered, “Weren’t the ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there none found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”9 19 Then he said to him, “Get up, and go your way. Your faith has healed you.”10 20 Being asked by the Pharisees when God’s Kingdom would come, he answered them, “God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation; 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”11
- Refer to Harmony’s Map to locate Perea, Jerusalem and the boarder of Galilee and Samaria. Use the menu to navigate to section 120a and the likely region where this took place. Why is it significant that Jesus took such a route “on his way to Jerusalem”?
- What illnesses and other social ills cause people in your community to be cast away and kept at a distance?
- How are we to treat people who are outcasts and foreigners (Luke 14:13; Galatians 2:10; James 2:5-6)?
- Did Jesus always require that those he healed have faith? (See: Jesus the Healer and His Miracles)
- Why didn’t the other 9 return? We can’t know. Perhaps the better question is why have you not returned to show God gratitude, worship and service after you’ve experienced his mercy?
- How does gratitude transform your own disposition and subsequent actions?
- To whom do you owe your gratitude? What have you done to express that?
- For what reasons do you feel you owe your gratitude and worship of God?
- When have felt the need to take a ‘step of faith’ and then experienced a miracle or blessing of God?
Media: “Where are the other nine?” song by Geoff Moore
- This was not a direct route as we’ve seen in the previous sections – he come up from Perea well to the north rather than directly west to Jerusalem. This journey is part of his final tour throughout Israel prior to entering Jerusalem. How marvelous that he took time to go to Samaria.
- We don’t know if Jesus was in Samaria or Galilee, but this is not a glorious region, as we see that at least 10 lepers resided there outside the gate as was the custom.
- In Jesus’ day leprosy had no known cure, and the disease would spread slowly causing swollen lumps on the skin, ulcerous scabs, deformities, white hair and skin as their body began to rot, and as it got worse fingers,toes and sometimes feet would fall off.
- The law required those with skin diseases stay far away from others (Leviticus 13:1-46, 14:2-32; Numbers 5:2-3) and it required them to wear torn clothing, unkept hair, cover their heads except the lower part of his face and the cry out “unclean unclean!” so protect the others. A leper could not come within 6 feet of any Israelite or 150 feet if there was an east wind (presumably any direction of wind blowing toward another). Read more.
- Jesus owed them nothing and they knew it. Mercy is given not by merit but by love and compassion.
- Another of Jesus’ many miracles. Interesting that in this story Jesus did not touch to pray for them to invoke the healing as in the other time he healed a leper back in Section 45 as told by Matthew, Mark and Luke, but as they went on their way obeying his command to go see the priest who would then inspect their skin and give them their freedom.
- CR Psalm 116:1-2
- An act and posture of worship, gratitude, humility
- CR Rm 1:21
- Jesus did not commend the faith of all who were healed but we see it is an active ingredient and commended (CR Sec 67 (Mt 9:22; Mk 5:34; Lk 8:48); Section 59 (Lk 7:50); Sec 126 (Mk 10:52; Lk 18:42). There is no indication as to what happened to the other 9. Jesus did not require or ask the 10 lepers to return to him after seeing the priest.
- Jesus answer was true as wise since the Pharisees had already determined to have him killed and this may well have been bait while seeing still more crowds gathering around him.