Jesus Heals Ten Lepers
To Remember: We all have a lot to be thankful for.
leper: a person with an incurable, contagious disease that attacks the whole body
Luke 17:11-19 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."
Leprosy was a feared and horrible disease, and still is. To this day, it is still predominately incurable. Because it was easy to catch, lepers were not allowed in the city, and were not allowed to approach others. That is why these ten lepers kept their distance and called out to Jesus. These lepers were, in all, a good bunch. They were obeying the laws: they stayed out of the city and did not approach Jesus or his followers. They believed in Jesus' ability to heal. They obeyed Jesus without question when he told them to go to the priests, even before they were healed.*
*Leviticus 13 explains how leprosy was handled under Moses' law. The priests were the men who decided whether leprosy was contagious or not. The priests had the power to declare these men healed and clean.
So these men were respectful, obedient, and trusting. What they weren't was thankful. Only one of the men, when they learned they were healed, was grateful enough to return and praise Jesus. Do you think he was the only one that was happy? I doubt it. Do you think it was easy for him to be the only one to return to Jesus? Probably not. He wanted to be declared clean by the priests so he could return to his family, his job and his friends. But he was thankful enough to stop right then and thank Jesus and praise God for this wonderful gift.
Discussion: What excuses could the other nine have given for not returning and thanking Jesus?
But he told us to go to the priests - we're only doing what he said!
He's God, he knows I'm grateful.
I have so many things to do now that I can be a normal person again! I'll thank Him later.
Do we often make excuses for not thanking God? What excuses do men make today for not thanking God?
I'm obeying God - so he owes me these blessings.
God knows my prayers before I offer them. Why should I have to tell him?
I'm very busy right now, I'll thank him later.
I hurting so much because of ________. Why is he not helping me?
God didn't do that for me, it was: my hard work, nature, my friend, luck.
Discussion: How are we to thank God? For what? Why? Study the verses on the worksheet and discuss their application to our lives.
Worksheet: Be Ye Thankful
Sing:I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy
Make a thank you card to God. Fully thank him for one blessing and what it means to you.
Make a mural of blessings that the church provides for the students. Display the mural where the congregation can see it.
Around the room: Have students stand in a circle. Have the first student say one thing they are thankful for. Have the next person repeat the first and add a second. Continue around the room until everyone has added two or the group can't continue.
Worksheet: I'm Thankful For...
True or False
God wants us to thank him once a year in November. F
Some days may go by without anything to thank God for. F
God appreciates our praise even when he already knows we're thankful. T
There is more than one way to thank God. T
God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. T
1 Thess. 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Psalm 138:1 "I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise."
Review Questions for gameboard
Name four blessings that start with the letter T.
Unscramble this word: frunatelug
Recite the memory verse.
Draw a blessing for which you are thankful.
Put together a puzzle made from the picture of the leper.
Turn to the person next to you and thank them for something.
How can we cheer ourselves up when we are disappointed, discouraged, or upset? (count our blessings