Jesus heals 10 lepers, but only one thanks him

Illustration by Linda Rivers


During his travels, Jesus told the people many parables.

One time, he told parables about lost things, like sheep, coins and a son. Other parables warned against loving money more than God.

One day, Jesus was invited to dine at the home of a leading Pharisee. Everyone there was watching him carefully.

Jesus noticed that one of the guests was a man who was suffering from abnormal body swelling.

“Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?” Jesus asked as he looked at the man.

Everyone kept silent as Jesus healed the man and then dismissed him.

“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” Jesus asked.

Then Jesus told two parables about how invited guests should conduct themselves.

As Jesus continued his travels, he spoke to the apostles about temptations to sin.

“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur,” Jesus warned. “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”

Jesus also told his friends how to forgive others.

“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him,” he said.

As they journeyed toward Jerusalem, they traveled through Samaria and Galilee.

When Jesus and his friends entered a village, 10 lepers met them. The lepers stood off at a distance and cried out.

“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” they said.

“Go show yourselves to the priests,” Jesus told them.

As the lepers left, they were cleansed.

One of them, a Samaritan, realized that he had been healed. He returned to Jesus and glorified God in a loud voice. He then fell at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.

“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?” Jesus asked. “Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you,” he told the Samaritan.


Luke 15, 16 & 17


  1. Who met Jesus at the village entrance?
  2. How many people thanked Jesus?

ESSAY: Why should we be thankful for what God does for us and has given us?


In the Old Testament, we can read about another leper whom God healed.

In 2 Kings 5, we read about a gentile man named Naaman, who commanded the king of Aram’s army. Although he was valiant and respected, Naaman was a leper.

In one of their raids against Israel, the Arameans had captured a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.

“If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy,” the girl said to Naaman’s wife.

Naaman received the king’s permission to visit Samaria so he could be cured.

He went to the home of Elisha, who was a prophet of God.

Elisha did not speak to Naaman directly. Instead, he sent Naaman a message.

“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean,” Elisha’s message said.

Naaman was angry. He had expected Elisha to come to him in person, call on the name of God and put his hand over the leprous spots on his skin to cure him.

Naaman left in anger, saying that he could wash in better waters than the waters of Israel.

His servants ran after him and convinced him to return and do what Elisha said.

Naaman came back and washed himself in the Jordan, and his leprosy was cured.


St. Catherine of Alexandria

St. Catherine is thought to have been born to a noble family in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late third century.

After having a vision, she converted to Christianity and began evangelizing others. She even evangelized the wife of the pagan emperor, who was persecuting Christians.

According to legend, she defied the emperor and refuted philosophers who were brought in to test her faith. She was imprisoned, tortured and martyred in 305.

We remember her on Nov. 25.


Using the hints provided, draw a line between the person and the illness he or she had that Jesus cured.

Simon’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15)                       ear cut off

High priest’s servant (Luke 22:50-51)                              paralyzed

Woman who touched Jesus (Luke 8:43-44)                   fever

Man on a stretcher (Luke 5:17-225)                                 hemorrhages

Answers: Simon’s mother-in-law/fever; high priest’s servant/ear cut off; woman who touched Jesus/hemorrhages; man on a stretcher/paralyzed

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