Luke 17: 11-19
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up [their] voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw [them], he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where [are] the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
I was reading this scripture to day and much jumped out. Allow me first to paint the picture that appeared in front of me as I read it a bit like a play-by-play:
- There were 10 lepers who were isolated, hurting, sick, down, suffering
- 9 out of 10 (presumably) were Jews whilst 1 out of 10 (presumably but not written) was a Samaritan – a heathen if you will
- Famous Healer Jesus comes nearby and the group of lepers cry out for the benefit of healing
- Faith Healer Jesus does not do a show, neither does he lay hands on them, neither does he even say ‘you’re healed’ but simply instructs them to show themselves to the priest to be healed [side point: At this point would a Samaritan have been allowed into the congregation of the Jews to even show himself to the priest? I’d like to know the answer to this question for full revelation on this scene.]
- En route to the priest, with the Samaritan with them, they are all physically healed from the horrible sickness of leprosy
- *Only* the Samaritan at this point:
1. Turned back towards Jesus
2. Loudly glorified God with no shame
3. Fell down on his face at the feet of Jesus (humility)
4. Gave thanks
- The others did… what? Kept walking to the priest? Did they even go to the priest? Did they get what they needed for life on earth and were now happy because they could fit in with the congregation again? How in the world could these 9 keep walking? How could they not run with the Samaritan back in joy and humility and fall on their faces?
They (the 9) were only healed on the outside, not the inside. And, note what Jesus then said to the Samaritan:
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luk 17:19)
He didn’t say “go, catch up to the other 9 who are probably still on their way to the priests and show yourself to the priests’.
No, the Samaritan was complete. Jesus saw that this man, only, was truly healed both inside and outside. He was made *whole* – and it was his faith that made him whole, not his membership in or association with a religious organization.
This also shows you that even through sickness and suffering it is possible that you may not be healed *completely* by God or be made *whole*.
My presumption about the 9 is that they may have gone on to possibly lose their healing, or, face other tribulations by the grace of God that would finally bring them to the place where the Samaritan was: a place of humility and thanksgiving.
The Samaritan (the 1) passed the test.
The 9 failed.
The 1 was made whole.
The 9 were not.
“Arise, go your way [not the way the other 9 are going] as you are healed, my friend.” is my translation of verse 19.
For what good is the healing, really, if the person doesn’t come to a vibrant knowledge of Jesus Himself? As painful as this is to even write, it would be better to continue to suffer in leprosy until death and walk into the throne room of God knowing the true Jesus, than die without Jesus in perfect health.
I know that our loving God does not sit there and enjoy watching us suffer, but I also know that He did not enjoy sitting there watch His only begotten Son suffer on the cross for our sins either.
It may be torment for the parent of a drug addict to stop helping their child financially and watch them suffer so, but for the greater good of their child there is no other way.
The pit of suffering and torment – no matter what kind – seems to be where the human cries out to heaven.
I am torn because I know that God heals and He heals today.
But what good is a physical healing if the person doesn’t change once and for all and believe and be baptized and born again into the new and amazing life in Christ?
I repeat that I am torn because I know that God heals and He heals today.
But I also know that He does *not* heal 100% every time.
There are two camps that most people reside in:
Camp 1: God doesn’t heal today – that was for some other time.
Camp 2: God heals 100% of everyone, every time because it’s God’s will to heal – and if you don’t get healed it’s your faith’s fault.
In Camp 1, you can simply not worry about it and say ‘It’s God’s will’ when someone isn’t healed (and kind of bench the book of Acts) and in Camp 2 you can blame the humans’ lack of faith for the lack of God’s movement in your life.
Both camps are unappealing to me and very unbalanced and I don’t want to be in either of them.
I want to know God, hear his voice and live the exciting life in Christ – whatever that is for me.