(e.g. john 8 32)

Luke 17:14  (King James Version)

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Luke 17:11-19

Jesus' miracle of healing the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) begins with Him traveling from Galilee through Samaria and then to Jerusalem, going through Jericho on the way. This roundabout route on His last trip to Jerusalem before being crucified provided Him with various opportunities for healing and teaching. During His earthly ministry, Christ healed many people of leprosy (Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22), but only two instances are recorded in detail and not this many at once.

As He enters a village, ten lepers approach Him, staying at a distance to avoid spreading their disease. They are a pitiful sight: ragged clothes and messy hair, slumped shoulders and drooping heads. As suffering outcasts with a shared need, they—nine Jews and one Samaritan—overlook their ethnic differences. In Scripture, the number ten represents completeness, just as the Ten Commandments cover God's complete law. Here, ten represents the sum of human need and hopelessness.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Ten Lepers Healed

Luke 17:14

Christ responds favorably to their plea in the form of a command: “Go, show yourselves to the priests” (Leviticus 13-14). Notice what follows: “As they went, they were cleansed.” The healing blessing came when the lepers obeyed Jesus' command. Blessings are contingent upon obedience. We miss many blessings because there is too little “as they went” in our lives. If we do what we can in obedience, God will do for us what we cannot.

Two great blessings came to the lepers through obedience. The first is that they were cleansed of the leprosy. The healing of leprosy is usually spoken of as being “cleansed” (“healed” is also used in verse 15). Lepers were unclean, so they had to be cleansed. Disobedience corrupts, but the commands and works of God purify.

The second blessing is that, by seeing the priests as He commanded, the lepers had their social restrictions cancelled. They were free to go wherever they wanted, reunite with family and friends, work normal jobs, and freely associate with whomever they wished. Far from restricting us, following God's instruction grants us freedom. The world taunts believers at times by telling them that the Bible's commandments only restrict them from having a good time, but that is not true. It is sin that restricts, binds, and enslaves.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Ten Lepers Healed

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 17:14:

Mark 8:22-26
Luke 17:11-19


<< Luke 17:13   Luke 17:15 >>

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