Nov 08, 2022 06:00am
Gratitude: Learning from the Lepers

(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scripture.)

Focus Scripture: “While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, ten men with leprosy who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. But Jesus responded and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine – where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.’ – Luke 17:11-19

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” – James 1:17

The Story of the 10 Lepers

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem (probably for a Jewish holiday) between the lands of Samaria and Galilee (his hometown). There was a village between these lands. Before Jesus went into this village, 10 lepers were waiting, at a distance (they probably lived in a leper colony somewhere near the village). They cried about, “Jesus, Master, please have pity on us!” (Since a leper couldn’t earn money, this was a phrase they cried out often.)

Instead of giving them help, Jesus gave them a healing…and they had no idea! He told them to go to the priests (only the priests could declare a person “clean” so that he/she could go back to normal life and be around people again). So, they obeyed Jesus and left! And as they were going to the priests, they were healed from leprosy! You would think all 10 would come running back to Jesus to thank him…and yet, only one does. He came back with a thankful heart; as a result, Jesus told him, “Your faith has saved you.” You see, Jesus healed all 10 lepers’ bodies physically, but this one healed leper was saved spiritually – he got salvation that day. Oh, happy day, indeed!

Thankful and obedient hearts get God’s attention and his blessing!

Discussion Questions:

What are some things you are thankful for? Do you thank God for these things?

How do you react when you see someone who may look different, sound different, or walk differently than you?

What do you know about leprosy? What do you think life would be like for people who have leprosy in Biblical times?

Leprosy Facts:

  • Leprosy is a skin disease caused by a slow-growing bacteria; it’s also referred to as Hansen’s Disease.
  • Because of its slow growth, it could be in your body for a really long time before you start showing symptoms.
  • It can be contagious – spread through skin-to-skin contact.
  • Leprous people had to wear bells and cry out, “Unclean!” when they came to town; they also had to stay back 6 feet from healthy people; on windy days, they had to stay back 150 feet.
  • It is chronic because it doesn’t go away, unless you have antibiotics.
  • Some people get white sores and large tumors on their flesh.
  • Some people’s flesh begins rotting away, just like a dead person’s.
  • It also affects the nerve endings so that people cannot feel pain.
  • Leprosy can disfigure a person and even disable them so that they cannot work for a living.
  • Ultimately, it is a slow disease aimed at destroying the body.

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