STORY SETTING AND BACKGROUND
THE THANKFUL LEPER
Jesus heals ten lepers, but only one remembers to say "Thank you:'
After raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus retired with His disciples to the village of Ephraim which very likely lay about 20 miles north-northeast of Jerusalem (John 11:1-54). Here He and His disciples seemingly stayed in seclusion until the time of the Passover festival was drawing near.
Since the accounts of Matthew and Mark speak of Jesus' later activity in Perea, the Jewish province on the east side of the Jordan, it is probable that Jesus journeyed with His disciples through Samaria to join the Galilean pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.
When they came to the great
When Jesus and His disciples came near the
In the Bible the term leprosy is used to cover a variety of skin diseases. Leviticus 13 and 14 record the regulations which God had laid down to be observed in examining and guarding against these skin diseases. Among these skin diseases was that known as Hansen's Disease or true leprosy.
There are three different kinds of true leprosy. You may notice that some of the lepers in the filmstrip are shown as having lumps especially in the face. This is known as the nodular type of leprosy, which also attacks the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Another type of leprosy results in the lack of feeling in the affected areas. Sometimes open sores develop, and parts of fingers and toes may eventually fall off. A third type may consist in a combination of the first two mentioned.
Today people contracting leprosy are isolated and given special treatment, depending on the variety which they have. If diagnosed in time, it is possible in some instances through medication to arrest leprosy.
At the time of Christ, anyone who contracted a skin disease covered under the term leprosy was taken to a priest who also served as health officer. The priest examined him as outlined in Leviticus 13 and 14. If diagnosed as leprosy, the person was required to leave his family and
live elsewhere away from people. In many instances such a person joined others who had also been isolated from their homes for the same reason.
In the case of our story, ten men were together, nine of these were Jews and the tenth was a Samaritan.
JESUS HEALS THEM
When these ten lepers appealed to Jesus for help, He told them to go and show themselves to the priests, the health officers of their day. They had faith in the healing power of Jesus. On the way, they felt and saw that they had been healed.
One of the lepers was moved by a spirit of deep gratitude to return to Jesus to thank Him. On the way back he publicly praised God and witnessed to the wonderful healing he had experienced. He fell down in front of Jesus and humbly and gratefully thanked Him.
Note Jesus' reaction that only one had come back to thank Him. Note also how disappointed He was that none of the others who were fellow-Jews had thought it important to recognize the great gift God had given them through the healing of Jesus. Seemingly they accepted it as something coming to them as members of God's chosen people.