Healed Of Leprosy


      In the mid 1970's I saw leprosy for the first time. I had read of it in the Bible from the days of my youth. Reading about leprosy gives no real concept of what it is like. Since that first time of seeing leprosy I have seen it many times. Each time the sight remains in my mind. Lep­rosy disfigures the person and makes their pres­ence horrible to the beholder.


      Leprosy was not just a superficial disease but it was a deep-seated malady. In Jewish history the leper was to be excluded from the camp. The leper was required to allow the hair of his head to go loose and his clothes were to be rent. When meeting someone on the road he was to cover his upper lip and cry unclean. (Leviticus 13:1-46) The life of a leper was and is a horrible life.


      In Luke 17:11-19 we have an account of Jesus healing 10 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. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?' And He said to him, 'Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.' " From this account let us learn to:


      Recognize our blessings. Did the nine recognize the great blessing they had just received from the Lord? Do we recognize our blessings? Many of God's blessings are contingent upon man's obedience. God said He shows mercy "to thou­sands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Exodus 20:6) The promise comes after we have done God's will. "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:36) Many of God's blessings are Spiritual blessings. Paul wrote, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3) Some of God's blessings are temporal. Jesus said, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:25-33) Count your many blessings!


      Remember the source. Every blessing comes from the hand of God. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James 1:17) Paul was constantly aware of what God had done and what God was doing in His life. "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, ac­cording to the power that works in us." (Ephesians 3:20) "God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8) Like David let us learn that the source of all our blessings is God. David wrote, "Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled." (Psalm 30:7)


      Respond with thanksgiving. Nine of the lepers did not respond with thanksgiving. Only one returned to say "Thank you." And Jesus was hurt as a result. We should constantly "give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you." (Colossians 1:3) We should constantly practice the words of Psalm 118:1, "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." "O give thanks unto the Lord." What a challenge it is to develop this spirit of thanksgiving.


      These nine words can change your life (1) Recognize your blessings, (2) Remember the source, and (3) Respond with thanksgiving. To become a Christian you must hear (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10)


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama USA