Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
I have always wondered how it would have been to live during the time of Jesus..to be in Bethlehem where He lived….to be a villager in Jerusalem where He did all the miracles…to listen to Jesus while He preached..Life would have been totally different living in that era. It is so amazing that we get to be a part of the Salvation He offered years ago on the cross..and we are the children of God, now and forever more.
I would like to take you to Jerusalem today, to witness a healing miracle…Come with me to that place, leaving all this technology behind to a place and time where people travelled by feet and lived a life of slow pace. Let us stand near the village gates and watch Jesus passing by.Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem…He is travelling along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. While He is about to enter a village, He hears the loud cry of some people…He turns back to see who these people are and there very far from the city gates, He sees ten men crying out….”Jesus, Master, have pity on us”. Someone in the crowd who followed Jesus said, “They are the lepers”.
Now for us who live in a modern century where leprosy is not that common, it may be difficult to understand…But in our imaginations, when we are there in that village, back in those times, you should understand how dreadful this disease is considered to be..According to the Law, if someone had the traces of leprosy, he had to go out of the city gates..and if by any chance there is some cure for it..they need to come back to the village and show it to the priest and if the priest approves the cure.. then they can go back and live with their own family. People considered that leprosy was a result of some kind of terrible sin in one’s life. Many of the lepers, once outside the city gate, had rare chances of coming back to the village…they lived in leprosy outside the gate, they lived without food and help..and they died in their terrible conditions outside the city gates.
These ten lepers, heard that Jesus is coming to the village..They decided that when He comes near the gate, they will cry out His name together..Their last hope is on Him. The crowd is pushing Jesus to go into the village..usually no one pays attention to the leper’s desperate cry. But I see Jesus, stopping…He is turning back..People are murmuring, asking Him to carry on..But Jesus looks at the lepers with compassion..Everybody around Him expects a miracle..They think that Jesus is going to touch them..may be spit on the ground and apply the mud on their skin..but to my surprise..HE did not do anything..I hear Him say, “”Go, show yourselves to the priests.” I saw all ten of them running into the village..to meet the priest..While they walked, they shouted, “I’m healed”…Jesus walked into the village and the crowd is still following Him..and so am I.
Suddenly, I see a man running back to Jesus..He is shouting, “I’m healed…I am a leper for many years and today Jesus healed me..” I see him praising Jesus in a loud voice…He is showing himself to the crowd..He is frantically witnessing his body to everybody around….In the next moment, I see him hugging Jesus feet and thanking Him..”Oh what a joy!!” I hear someone saying that he is a Samaritan and not a Jew. Then I hear, my master asking,”Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Standing there I wonder, why didn’t they come back?
Coming back to our life time, I have the same question, why didn’t they come back? They were really desperate in their current conditions and all ten of them wanted deliverance from our Master… They all cried to God together…And Jesus did stop for them and asked them to show themselves to the priest..None of them had any doubts in God’s Word…so they all took their faith into action..they walked to the priest…and while walking they found themselves healed..So we are sure that they all had the same faith. So it was not faith in the Master that they lacked. For them, all that mattered was their deliverance. It did not matter to them the person who delivered them. But for that one leper, he could not contain the joy and gratitude he had for the one who delivered him from the dreadful state..and he could not thank Him enough. Not only that he praised God, he became a witness to many. All ten of them received healing…but this man received something different..In KJV, we read Jesus said to Him,”Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole”. So this leper received healing which made him whole..The Greek translation for this word ‘Whole’ is ‘sozo’ which means save or saved. That man recieved both physical and spiritual healing.
Today, are we in need of our Master for a deliverance? Are we outside the city gate..our comfort zones..crying out, “Master, have pity on me”..Our God does His miracle through many ways..sometimes, a touch is enough, other times, may be a word..But do not always expect an immediate deliverance..sometimes God expects us to move in faith..even before seeing the miracle happening…to walk in faith. While walking with Him, growing in Him…you will see that deliverance happening in you and me. But let us not be like others who just need Jesus, for some kind of deliverance and never want Him for the rest of their lives..let us come back to Him who delivered us from everything…let us thank Him for what He did..and let us be a witness to many others..so that the whole purpose is fulfilled..At His feet, we realise that every trial we face will result in a faith that makes us whole…physical and spiritual deliverence.