Ten Healed of Leprosy

11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:11-19).

Why would Jesus send the ten lepers to the priests unhealed, instead of healing them on the spot? It’s interesting to see that Jesus required them to do what a cured leper would do even though they were not healed yet. He required them to take steps of faith and trust in the Word of Jesus. Lepers were commanded to stay at a distance and ring a bell when anyone got anywhere near to warn them. Of course, they were outside the community which is where they saw Jesus. There was no touch, and very little communication, He just told them to go to the priest to get checked out. There may have been a priest in the nearest town, but it more than likely meant that they were to travel to the Temple to see the priest there and get a pronouncement of health to be readmitted into society. This required faith, because they were not yet healed. They were only healed as they were on the journey. As they started on their journey, it would have seemed stupid to them to go and get a healed certificate when their faces and limbs were contorted with Leprosy. One of them was a Samaritan, a person that the Jews did not normally associate with, although we find them together in their misery.

What do you think was on the mind of the Samaritan as he started on the way to the Temple? Could it be that he might have been suspicious of Jesus? Why would this Jewish preacher want to heal an enemy Samaritan? I wonder if he thought that the healing would not work for him, due to the animosity between the Jews and Samaritans. He certainly would not want to go to Jerusalem, the Samaritans worshiped on Mount Gerizim in Samaria. Imagine his surprise that while he is walking, his fingers start to grow and his toes suddenly fill his shoes. He feels that the skin on his face is soft and that his nose has grown out again. He was ecstatic with praise to God and could not contain himself. He left the company of the others and returns to find Jesus and thank Him. This man knew how to give thanks. He shouted loudly to God as he approached Jesus and threw himself on the ground lavishly shouting his praise. How that must have warmed the Lord’s heart!  Let’s never forget to thank the Lord for all he does for us.

Let me issue you a challenge: Think of a situation in your life which needs resolution, it may be an impossible thing to you, but dare to believe that God can work through your simple faith. Is anything too hard for the Lord? Call out to Him and ask Him for faith to believe that He will accomplish what you ask of Him. Then praise Him, loudly!

Keith Thomas

The Healing of the Man with Dropsy

1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. 5Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” 6And they had nothing to say (Luke 14:1-6).

The Greek word that is translated carefully watched literally means to watch on the side or to watch insidiously. In other words, they were watching out of the corner of their eyes, hoping to catch Jesus on something that He said or did. Was this a set up? I can’t imagine that this Pharisee had it in his heart to invite this man with dropsy to enter his home without a reason; somehow, I don’t think the man’s health was the motive. Luke tells us that it was a “prominent Pharisee” that had invited Jesus. The Pharisees were known for their opposition to him, yet the Lord still reaches out to them around a table of food.

Let’s try to enter the life and pain of the man with dropsy. Today, this condition is called edema. It is a swelling up of parts of the body to grotesque sizes, due to fluid buildup. We could say that he was drowning in his own body fluid. Edema is often caused by organ failure, the heart, kidney or liver. With such a sickness, he was not far from death. We are not told what parts of his body had swelled up, but it was obviously visible to all that were there. If it was in the legs, he would have found it very difficult to walk or even to stand. He was not cared for by the religious crowd; their only interest was to use him to trap Jesus. The Lord saw the ambush coming. This poor, sick man was just the bait in the trap of the Pharisees. The common thinking of the religious elite concerning the poor, sick, and ill, was that their sin was being visited on them by God.

Christ’s heart went out to the man. He would not compromise His value that people come first.  People are precious to Jesus. What would He do? The room grew very quiet as Jesus took up their challenge. The Pharisees believed that one could only help someone on the Sabbath if that person’s life was in danger of being lost.

Jesus shifted the focus of attention from Himself to the Pharisees and lawyers gathered. The Lord has a way of asking a question to make bare a person’s heart. Looking around at them, He said, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” (v. 3). The Greek word translated as lawful means to be authorized, permitted, or is it proper? He wasn’t asking if it was lawful according to the law of Moses. He was asking them to give their opinion on what was proper. They did not anticipate this question. They were perplexed as to how to respond. If they would have spoken up against healing on the Sabbath in front of this very needy man, the state of their calloused hearts would have been revealed, and no-one would have come to that synagogue again! Neither did they want to give Him permission to heal on the Sabbath after thinking that they had Him in a trap. They knew that the Scriptures has no limitations to acts of compassion on the Sabbath.

4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. 5Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” 6And they had nothing to say (Luke 14:4-6).

He appealed to their common sense, saying that if their animal was drowning in a well, wouldn’t they get it out? He was first appealing to their economic need, implying that they would have to buy another ox if they wanted to plow their fields. Then, again, if their son had fallen down a well and was drowning, wouldn’t they do what they could to save their son from drowning? This man before them had been drowning in his own fluid, and he was someone’s son. Shouldn’t this son be released from drowning? The passage ends with Luke telling us that they had nothing to say. How cold-hearted false religion can be. Keith Thomas

The Healing of the Man Born Blind

1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing (John 9:1-7).

 The Light of the World

Imagine living your life without the sense of sight and what challenges that would present to you on a daily basis. In our devotional today, we will meet a man that was blind from birth. Jesus had stated in the previous chapter, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). He said this about Himself while up in the Temple Courts (John 8:2), more than likely before the four big giant candelabra’s symbolizing God as the One who had been their light leading them in the darkness during the wilderness wanderings. Notice that He didn’t say I am a light, but I am the light of the world. He claimed exclusively to be Israel’s Light.

Now He is set to prove it as He is leaving the Temple precincts. Often beggars would be sitting near the gates to the temple area, ready to hold out their hands to any worshippers whose hearts were softened by worshiping the Lord. Jesus notices the blind man and stops. The disciples ask Him how this man came to be in this condition, having been born blind. “Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” (Verse 2). The prevailing notion amongst the Jewish people at that time was that God visited upon the children the sins of the parents. The Lord did not enter into the discussion, not being concerned so much with the reason for the man’s blindness, but rather, what He was going to do with the opportunity. He saw it as a chance for the Father to vividly demonstrate that whoever was in darkness, should know the Light of life.

 Put yourself in the shoes of the man born blind. He could hear the conversation between the Lord and his disciples, but didn’t know what was going on. He more than likely heard Jesus collecting spittle in his mouth and spitting it on the ground. I would think that the Lord told him He was about to put something on his eyes. Did he know who it was before the mud was put on his eyes? I think not. He explained later on, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see” (verse 11). If he would have known Jesus he would have said, “Jesus told me to go to Siloam and wash.” Siloam was a pool of water that was sent through a water tunnel that King Hezekiah had constructed, so that water from the Gihon Spring could be sent to the Pool at Siloam (Siloam means sent). Jesus sent the man to wash at the Sent place. I wonder if that while he was blindly trying to find his way to Siloam people were trying to wash the mud from his eyes. I see him fending them off trying to be obedient to the Lord’s commandment to wash only there. Faith took him to Siloam, and he was rewarded for his faith by being totally healed. May your eyes be opened to the darkness of our day too, that you may see the Light of the World, Jesus.       Keith Thomas

The Woman with the Issue of Blood

25A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 29Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5:25-34).

How wonderful it is that God responds to faith. This woman’s faith was born out of desperation. Matthew in his gospel (9:20) tells us that the woman had internal bleeding for 12 years. What would it have been like to be in her situation? Her condition was one where it was illegal for her to be in a public place, for fear of contaminating anyone else. Leviticus 15:25 says, “When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.” She could never enter the Temple, synagogue, or fellowship with others. Her condition excluded her from the social structure of the day. Mark further tells us that she had spent all her money on doctors (Mark 5:26), but was no better, but rather grew worse. This poor woman was financially at an end, and more than likely had not slept in a bed for some time, what hotel would have her in her condition. What friend would let her stay at their house? Everything she touched would be ceremonially unclean.

How scared she must have been as she was mingling with the crowd trying not to be seen and recognized, desperately trying to reach Jesus, her only hope. Mark tells us that when she touched Him and was instantly healed, Jesus turned and looked on the crowd, saying, “Who touched my garments?” (v.31). Her response was one of fear. She fell at his feet, trembling with fear (v. 33). Why was she trembling?  She took a huge risk. Jesus was well known as a Rabbi in whom is the Spirit of God. She perhaps thought she would contaminate Him with her uncleanness and render him not able to heal the ruler of the Synagogue’s daughter. I am sure that she expected to be severely told off and brought before a court.

I love Him for His response to her, “Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Her past history over 12 years of having this condition was one of rejection by people. How beautiful to see grace, acceptance, understanding and joy in the face of our Savior.  Doesn’t grace and kindness win your heart? Hasn’t He been like that with you? I long to be accepting of the poor and hurting like Him.

Prayer: Oh God, make us more like Jesus, full of grace and truth.

Keith Thomas

Your Faith Has Made You Well!

11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:11-19).

In this passage, we read about the kind of faith that God is pleased with. We’re not talking about faith in faith—that has nothing to please the Father. Faith in God and the One He has sent is what pleases the heart of God (John 6:29; Hebrews 11:6). Lepers, having a communicable disease, were commanded to stay at a distance outside the city and community and either ring a bell or cry out, “unclean, unclean,” when a clean person came near them (Leviticus 13:45-46). The only way that they could re-enter the community and social network inside the city was for them to receive the all-clean stamp of approval from the priest (Leviticus 14:2).

We are told in verse 12, that they stood at a distance shouting to Christ to have pity on them. It’s interesting to see that Jesus required them to act upon His Word and do what a cured leper would do even though they were not healed yet. He asked them to take steps of faith and trust in His Word. He didn’t lay hands on them, even though He had healed lepers before by touching them (Luke 5:13). He didn’t give them much instruction as to why they were to go to the priest. He just told them to present themselves to the priest to get checked out. This required faith in His Word, because they were not yet healed. They were only healed as they were on the journey. It must have seemed illogical to them as they started on their journey, to go and get a healing certificate when their faces and limbs were contorted with Leprosy. Sometimes faith in God will seem illogical. One of them was a Samaritan, a person that the Jews did not normally associate with, although we find them together in their misery.

What do you think was on the mind of the Samaritan as he started on the way to the Temple? Don’t you think he might have been a little bit suspicious of Jesus? He knew Jesus was a Jew by His clothes. At what point did the miracle happen to him? Wonder of wonders! As they were on their journey of obedience, the miracle of healing happened! Imagine their surprise to find that as they are walking, their fingers start to grow, their toes suddenly begin to fill their shoes, and they can feel the skin on their faces become soft and their noses growing out again! One of them, the Samaritan, was ecstatic with praise to God and could not contain himself. He left the company of the others for he had to find Jesus and thank Him. This man ran back and when he found Christ, he knew how to give thanks. He gave vent to his emotions as he shouted loudly to God. He approached Jesus and threw himself on the ground (Verse 16) lavishly shouting his praise. He acted according to His belief and trust in Jesus’ Word and he saw the power of God at work in his life as a result. How his thankfulness must have warmed the heart of the Lord! Let’s never forget to thank God for all He does for us.

Let me issue you a challenge: Think of a situation in your life which needs resolution, it may be an impossible thing to you, but dare to believe that God can work through your simple faith. Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:4). Call out to Him and ask Him for faith to believe that He will accomplish what you ask of Him. Then praise Him, loudly!

Keith Thomas