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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 17:11-13

The lepers “stood afar off” because leprosy was a dreaded, loathsome disease for which God gave Moses detailed instructions to deal with it. This was an incurable disease that would eventually disfigure and rot away the body. It was widely known that only God could heal it. So, when Christ healed the leper in Matthew 8:1-4, His divine nature was revealed to many. When the ten lepers saw Jesus, they were likely tempted to rush toward Him to be healed, but they obediently observed the legal distance of 100 paces (Leviticus 13:46; Numbers 5:2; II Kings 5:5).

In the Bible, leprosy illustrates the work of sin. Like leprosy, sin is a vile, contaminating, mortifying, unclean thing. It starts out as a spot that grows and festers until it takes in the whole person, condemning him to death. It is a type of the separation that sin causes, as well as representing how all people are alike in sin: “For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23).

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




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 17:11:

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

 

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