Songs and Praise



Luke 17:11-19;

Lesson 127 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Heal me, 0 LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved" (Jeremiah 17:14).

I The Ten Lepers Who Met Jesus

His journey through Samaria was for the purpose of healing them, Luke 17:11; John. 4:4 The lepers were exiled according to the Law, Luke 17:12; Leviticus 13:45, 46; II Kings 7:3 Their cry unto Jesus was their only hope, Luke 17:13; II Kings 5:7

II The Only One Returning to Give Thanks

Jesus commands them to show themselves to the priests, Luke 17:14; Leviticus 14:2; Matthew 8:4 The ten were healed on their way, in obedience to the command, Luke 17:14; John 9:10, 11 Faith brings healing, Matthew 8:13; 9:22; Mark 10:52 A Samaritan returns to glorify God, Luke 17:15, 16; 4:27 Jesus reproves the nine and pays tribute to the one, Luke 17:17-19; Matthew 8:10 A Christian is exhorted to give thanks unto God, I Thessalonians 5:18


Lepers of Today

About 60 miles north of the city of New Orleans, in Louisiana, a road leads to the levees of the Mississippi River. There, hidden in a turn of the river, far from the nearest village, is a group of buildings which might be taken for a sugar plantation. But the men and women who live there plough no lands and cut no cane. They are lepers. Although there are about 2000 lepers in this country there are only about 400 in this colony at Carville which is the only one in the United States. The others who suffer from leprosy are under private care throughout the country.

It is said that there are 3,000,000 people in the world today with this disease; between 400,000 and 500,000 in Nigeria alone. Many lepers are responding to the call of God and are turning to Christ today. Missionaries say that they present a good field for the Gospel, and respond whole¬heartedly when they find someone who cares for them. The world has long shoved them aside, but Jesus showed them mercy when He was upon earth. Through missionary efforts of those filled with the love of God, mercy is again shown these shunned people.

Lepers in Bible Times

Jesus was passing through Galilee and Samaria. We do not know what village He was about to enter, but He encountered ten men on the outskirts of the village. They were exiled from society; they were driven out and abandoned by man; but they saw Jesus Christ. He extends His mercy to the high and the low alike. He is often known of those who are outcasts from society, the low and the degraded, those who are steeped in sin and darkness. The law of the Israelites concerning a leper was, 'He shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.' They had to remain around the outskirts of the cities and villages. So it is with the sinner today; he is banished from the presence of God. He is out, and is an outcast. All that he can do is look in upon the glories of God's salvation in wonderment, and cry, 'Unclean, unclean!'

It was the law of the Jews that every leper was to stand afar off and cry, 'Unclean, unclean,' when anybody approached him (Leviticus 13:45). Jesus on this occasion saw these ten men, and they saw Him. Thank God, there are sinners seeing Jesus these days. There are those who are bound by the powers of sin and every loathsome disease and habit and appetite, seeing Jesus. That is what is required of all men who ever gain the fellowship or the favor of God — a sight of Jesus, the Christ of Calvary.

A Cry for Mercy

They cried out, as they lifted up their hands, and said, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us'; and Jesus was there to have mercy upon them. There is not a soul that deplores his sinful state and cries out for mercy but that Jesus Christ is there to give him a favorable hearing. The Son of God was there to make the lepers free, not only from a loathsome disease that was taking their life away but from the condemnation that rested upon their hearts. Leprosy is a terrible thing, but sin is more horrible and more loathsome. It is only the power of God's mercy that can set at liberty the soul that is bound by the power of sin.

A Type of Sin

Leprosy is a type of sin. It is a deep-seated disease; and though it begins with a very slight symptom, a mere spot somewhere, yet it keeps spreading and spreading until eventually it has covered the whole body. The leper is benumbed when his disease reaches the second stage. Sin has the same benumbing effect. Sin is not regarded by many today as being a terrible thing. People go right into the depths of sin now without restraint — it means nothing to them. It has the same benumbing effect upon them that leprosy has upon the body. It leaves them a half or two-thirds paralyzed to spiritual things. The longer they continue, the worse the dis¬ease becomes and the more benumbed they become to the serious con¬sequences of sin. One of the worst conditions in the world today is that there is no longer any abhorrence for sin.

Faith and Results

When these lepers cried out, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us,' Jesus commanded, 'Go shew yourselves unto the priests.' Immediately the ten started toward the priests; not because they yet saw any change in their bodies; for the Word says, 'As they went, they were cleansed.' They believed the Word of God and had faith to step out upon it. The Lord always honors faith. To a woman who was sick for twelve years He said, 'Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole' (Matthew 9:22). A blind man heard the same encouraging words, 'Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole' (Mark 10:52); and went his way seeing. To a centurion Jesus said, 'Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee' (Matthew 8:13).

Give Thanks

These lepers went toward the priests, and as they went they were cleansed. Only one came back and fell down at the feet of Jesus Christ and began to glorify God mightily. The others were thinking only of their freedom from the loathsome disease. They went to the priests and to friends. But one man — and he was a Samaritan and a stranger — came back to Jesus Christ. Probably the others were Jews. Jesus was just passing through this village as He was on His journey to Jerusalem, and in all probability this man who returned to give thanks would never have seen Jesus again had he not turned back at that moment to give honor and glory to God. Ten were cleansed, but only one returned to worship God. He alone heard the words, 'Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.' All were healed, but only one received the end of his faith — salvation of his soul.

The nine went away, and as this man came back Jesus said to him, 'Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?' Look over the world today and see what God hath wrought: hundreds, thousands, of people today have their very existence to thank God for, and yet they never return to give Him thanks. Let the Christian rejoice, and 'in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you' (I Thessalonians 5:18).


1 How many lepers of which we have an account in the Gospels were healed by Jesus?
2 How many were healed in Old Testament times?
3 How many are mentioned in the Bible who were not healed?
4 What are some of the laws given in Leviticus concerning lepers?
5 How many lepers are there in the world today?
6 Of what nationality was the leper who was cleansed and returned to give thanks to God?
7 What nationality was one of the lepers who was cleansed in Old Testament times?
8 What shows the faith that these ten lepers had?
9 In what manner were the Jews reproved in this lesson?
10 Where can you find another account where Jesus reproved the Jews by those of another nation?

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