How I Become Well

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus went along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

12 As he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy came toward him. They stood at a distance 13 and shouted, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”

On their way they were healed.15 When one of them discovered that he was healed, he came back, shouting praises to God.16 He bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was from the country of Samaria.

17 Jesus asked, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine?18 Why was this foreigner the only one who came back to thank God?” 19 Then Jesus told the man, “You may get up and go. Your faith has made you well.”              Luke 17:11-19 (CEV)

Lecionary texts: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7, Psalm 66:1-12, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19

This is one of many stories in the gospels where Jesus reaches out to heal someone who has cried out for mercy. What can I learn about healing here?

I often stand at a distance and cry for help. In my life, I came to a place of great need for healing but felt I could not come close to God and ask for help. I had not been faithful to my relationship to Him. I felt I had no right to ask for His help, His love and forgiveness. I felt a need to earn His love. I surely must have to pay some price to come to Him. I was wrong. Like any good and loving father, God just wanted me to turn to Him in my need and call out to Him. He loves me. Period.

God may tell me to faithfully do the expected treatment. Jesus healed in many different ways. In this time with the ten lepers, He told them to go show themselves to the priests. This was the accepted path when a person was an outcast due to some condition, the priests would declare them welcomed back into the community; they were healed. Jesus was always about pointing people to the Father so that the Father received all the glory for the blessing. Whatever way God decides to release healing into my life, it is for me to faithfully obey.

On the journey of treatment, God will heal. The lepers were healed as they made their way to the priests. They obeyed Jesus and were healed. I remember discussing healing with my son James when he was sick. We did a study of the different ways that God healed throughout the Bible. James said, “Do you think God wants me to go dip myself in the Gulf seven times?” (2 Kings 5:9-11) It is the willingness to do whatever God asks that is the point. God did heal many people, including James, during James’ five year journey.

Never forget the thanksgiving. Ten lepers were healed and only one returned to give thanks and praise. The gospel doesn’t tell me but I have to wonder what happened to the other nine. Jesus told the one leper who did return that his faith, his belief that it was God who had healed him, was what truly healed him. No matter what path God has chosen for me to follow in His plan to heal, I must never forget that it is under His direction that I am healed. Remember that in all things that God is planning and guiding me from His perspective, a Kingdom perspective. And so it is in healing. His priority will always be about healing my heart and spirit primarily and bringing our relationship closer so that the Kingdom will grow, and grow stronger. The healing will be the testimony that directs others to the Father. It is the healing that passes all understanding. It is a faith in Jesus Christ that manifests itself with strength and courage so that I can point to Him as I say, “I have fought the good fight. I have run the race. I have kept the faith. Now a crown of righteousness waits for me” (2 Timothy 3:7-8). I can testify to all others that because of the healing of God – it is well in my soul.

It is Well with My Soul written by Horatio Spafford and Philip Bliss, sung at the 2008 Together for the Gospel Conference

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