B. The cleansing of ten lepers.
- (11-14) The healing of the lepers.
Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
a)As He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers: It was not unusual for these lepers to congregate with one another. They were outcasts from society at large, and had no company other than other lepers – so, they stood afar off.
i. Who stood afar off: “They kept at a distance, because forbidden by law and custom to come near to those who were sound, for fear of infecting them. See Leviticus 13:46; Numbers 5:2; 2 Kings 15:5.” (Clarke)
ii. Passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee: “The words dia meson are best translated ‘through the middle of,’ or ‘between,’ referring to Jesus’ travel along the border between Samaria and Galilee.” (Pate)
b. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”: They came to Jesus together and they prayed together, even though they were a mixed group of Jews and Samaritans (Luke 17:15-16). Bonded by their misery, their national and other prejudices vanished as they came together in prayer.
i. “A common misfortune had broken down the racial and national barriers. In the common tragedy of their leprosy they had forgotten they were Jews and Samaritans and remembered only they were men in need.” (Barclay)
c. Go, show yourselves to the priests: It was remarkable that Jesus asked them to go to the priests while they were still lepers. This was truly stepping out in faith, as in putting on the new man even when we still look and feel like the old man.
i. “The one condition of healing was obedience. Ordered, they must obey. If He was master as they had cried He was, then let them prove their faith by their obedience.” (Morrison)
ii. “God highly honours this kind of faith, and makes it the instrument in his hand of working many miracles. He who will not believe till he receives what he calls a reason for it, is never likely to get his soul saved. The highest, the most sovereign reason, that can be given for believing, is that God has commanded it.” (Clarke)
d. And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed: Just as God blessed the faith of the lepers to step out as the new man even when they feel like the old, so will He bless our faith.
i. “It is as we go on the commanded road that we experience the commanded blessing. Let the Church obey the command of the Lord Jesus, and with enthusiasms evangelise the nations, and, as she goes, she will be healed.” (Morrison)