by Joshua Arnold, Class of 2021 Graduate
Under the Mosaic Law, lepers were considered ceremonially unclean and were forced to live outside the community as outcasts (Leviticus 13:46). As such, they were forbidden from
having any physical contact with others, including their own families, because any person who came into contact with a leper would be made unclean as well. Furthermore, because lepers were
considered unclean, they were not allowed to enter into the temple to worship God. It is not difficult, then, to imagine how lonely these ten lepers were. One can almost hear the desperation in their voice as they cry out to Jesus for help.
Mercifully, Jesus grants their request. He instructs the men to show themselves to the
priest (lepers who had been cleansed were required by law to be examined by a priest before they could be allowed back into society). In faith, the men do as they are told, and they are healed. Naturally, they are overjoyed, and they hurry to the temple so that they could be examined and return to their normal lives. However, in the midst of their excitement, almost all of these men quickly forgot the One who was the source of their healing. Only one took the time to turn back and thank Jesus for what He had done for him. Note Jesus’ response: “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (v.17) It seems that Jesus expected the other nine lepers to return as well,
and He was disappointed to find that they had so quickly forgotten about Him.
James 1:17 tells us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming
down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Unfortunately, we, like the nine lepers in this passage, have a tendency to take for granted the gifts that God has given us. Today, find some time to stop and reflect on many ways in which you have been blessed, then thank God for those gifts which He has graciously given to you.