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Luke 17:11-19

Ten Healed of Leprosy
11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

 14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.

 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

 17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."


Boundless Love ¾ God’s love flows freely to all

by Michaela Bruzzese

Naaman, a great warrior from Aram, is crippled by leprosy, and he is healed not by a member of his own people, but by the Hebrew prophet Elisha. Physical cleanliness also brought him spiritual clarity; upon being healed, he recognizes Yahweh as both the source of his healing and his life: "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel" (2 Kings 5:15).

Luke teaches a similar lesson. When Jesus responds to a plea for mercy by 10 lepers and heals them, he cannot understand why only one—a Samaritan—returns. Jesus asks, "Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" He then commands the Samaritan to "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:19). Though Jesus physically healed all 10 men, he reassures the Samaritan that his faith has "made him well," implying that such faith healed his soul as well as his body.

In both accounts, it is the foreigner—supposedly undeserving of God’s attention and love—who is healed. As Paul describes, God’s healing, like God’s word, flows freely to all who are prepared to listen and receive, for "the word of God is not chained" (2 Timothy 2:9).

Though we attempt to bind God’s power and word to benefit only ourselves and those who think as we do, God goes to great lengths to show that God’s love and mercy flow freely to all.

Michaela Bruzzese was a freelance writer living in Chile when this article appeared.