(Jesus said)  “Get up and go on your way.  Your faith has healed and saved you.”
(Luke 17:19)

Jesus and His disciples were making their way toward Jerusalem.  They usually traveled by foot, for they
rarely had donkeys or horses to ride.  While crossing the border between Samaria and Galilee they passed
through a small village.  We might call this a border town today.  There were a band of lepers along side of
the road: ten to be exact.  There was no known cure for leprosy.  Lepers had become outcasts because no
one knew what to do with them and most assuredly no one wanted to
be physically near them, lest somehow they might be susceptible to the disease.  So the lepers tended to
band together in groups for protection and companionship.  Safety and confidence
in numbers.  

The lepers knew from experience, more accurately from rejection, that they needed to keep their distance
from passers-by, but they also well knew they must call out loudly in order to be noticed.  This they did.  They
were aware of Jesus’ power to heal.  That’s not something that had gone unnoticed, and doubtlessly there
were all kinds of rumors which preceded Jesus wherever He went, whether accurate or otherwise.  Because
of their calling out, Jesus stopped and engaged them.  Nothing unusual about that.  But one of the distinctive
things about Jesus is that often He didn’t address an issue head on, but rather would make another
statement which on the surface didn’t appear to be directly related.  On one occasion He told someone that
their sins were forgiven rather than that they were healed.  In like fashion then, He told the lepers to go and
show themselves to a priest, as opposed to telling them that they were about to be healed.  Similar scenario,
different setting.

They certainly had nothing to lose, so off they went.  While en route to a priest, their hopes of being healed
became a reality.  Perhaps it was gradual, perhaps it was all at once, or maybe one at a time, but it
happened and that is the fact.  This was a happy bunch.  Their lives were instantly better and that was the
other fact.  They could rejoin their families, they could work, they could now be productive.  So, they
proceeded forward in their new lives and never looked back.  

But there was one who was unlike the rest.  This former leper, former by a matter of minutes, turned around
and came back to thank Jesus.  One out of ten - sound familiar?  When he returned to Jesus and His
disciples he humbly kneeled before Jesus and expressed his gratefulness.  Interestingly,
this man was a Samaritan.....considered outside of the fold of the “chosen.”  The one who couldn’t possibly
be saved because he was different; the one not of the in-crowd, the one not in the mainline church, so to

Jesus took note.  Did He ever!  Jesus praised him for his faith and acknowledged that this man would indeed
enter the kingdom of Heaven.  Perhaps if a survey was taken of the other nine, they would say that they were
the special ones, the favorites, the ones God was pleased to heal.  What happened to the tenth one?  Oh,
probably he disappeared into oblivion and was the furthest thing from God’s mind.  Really?