In the Gospel of Luke, we find the story of Jesus' encounter with ten men who had leprosy. According to the Law, these men would have been considered unclean. They were banned from entering cities and towns and as they moved about, they were supposed to cry out "Unclean! Unclean!" lest anyone come into contact with them by mistake.
The Law did however permit a "cured" leper to rejoin society. They were to present themselves to a priest for examination and if he could not find any evidence of the disease, the leper was pronounced clean and was restored.
Jesus did not avoid lepers. He loved them.
Luke 17:11-19 tells what happened when ten men stricken with leprosy cried out to Jesus for mercy. He told them to go show themselves to the priests. All ten men were obedient. Even though they were still had the disease, they immediately set off to present themselves to the priests. It is interesting to note that Jesus did not heal them first and then send them off. The healing occurred when they obeyed Jesus.
Luke tells us that as they went (v. 14), they were healed. I have no doubt that they were overjoyed and it is reasonable to assume that nine of the men joyously continued on their way to see the priests. One man, a Samaritan, however ran back to Jesus shouting "Praise God!" He fell down at Jesus' feet and thanked him.
Ten men were healed. Ten men were shown mercy. One man returned to praise God and thank Jesus for giving him mercy. Do we?
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