11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.
12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance,13 crying out,
"Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
14 He looked at them and said,
"Go show yourselves to the priests."
And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting,
16 He fell to the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking him for what he had done.
This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked,
"Didn't I heal ten men?
Where are the other nine?
18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"
19 And Jesus said to the man,
"Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you."
I've been intrigued with those 4 words I underlined...
“And as they went...”
Lepers were terrible outcasts.
If a person got leprosy, they lost everything – family, home, job, social standing & contact – everything.
They had to go live outside the city, with other lepers, waiting to die a slow, horrible death.
If they were brave enough to be around healthy people, they had to constantly yell, “unclean!” to warn people to stay away.
Often people would throw rocks or offal or whatever at the lepers to chase them away.
The 10 lepers took a terrific chance to try & get the attention of Jesus.
It would not have been unusual for a large crowd like what was probably around Jesus to turn on the lepers & stone them to death.
But the lepers took the chance for healing.
And when they caught Jesus attention, He simply tells them to go show themselves to the priest, which was what anyone did to authenticate that they were healed of leprosy.
Imagine though the lepers situation...
Jesus says go show yourself to the priests, indicating that they were healed.
But when the lepers turned to go, they were still lepers.
It does not say when their healing occurred, other than that it happened as they were on their way to the priest.
It doesn't say if the healing occurred within 50 feet of Jesus, or a mile or 2 down the road.
It just says that “as they went”, they were healed.
Imagine the faith for those lepers to take one step after another toward the priest to present themselves, but yet they were still lepers.
And then, somewhere along the way, they realized they were all healed.
It is of note that only 1 came back to say thank you.
And he was a Samaritan – someone the Jews considered unclean, a heretic, a lower life form.
That was the person who came back.
1 out of 10 who came back to say thank you was a pretty good ratio.
It is my experience, particularly in this postmodern world, that a thank you is a rare commodity – entitlement is a strong concept.
I said all that to say this...
Often times when we ask for a miracle from God, we expect it to be instantaneous.
But I have found in my life, & in the lives of others, that frequently the miracle doesn't happen fully until we step out in complete unsubstantiated faith & start walking toward it &/or operating in it.
Who is that needs to hear that today, besides me?
Who needs to hold on to that shred of promise in an impossible situation.
Hold on to it today...
“and as they went...”