Leprosy at that time refers to various kinds of skin diseases that are collectively labeled as unclean. They are usually the incurable, with the nastiest of sores. With blotches of the skin that gets discolored and eventually gives a foul smell. Considered contagious, the leper will be quarantined outside the city walls, or banished to a leper colony. The book of Leviticus will say that lepers when they travel should cry out, "unclean, unclean." So those who hear them will stay away from them.
What happens next describe two important responses: before a blessing and after the blessing.
FIRST, THE ACT OF FAITH
Jesus in response to their plea, replied, "Go show yourselves to the priest." Why did Jesus say that? Why did he not instead cause for heaven to open while angels sing, and him declaring, "Be now Healed." Instead, "Ok you can go to the priest now." Answer: because the priests during those days were the health inspectors. A leper can only go to the priest if he believes that somehow he is already cured. But here is the irony: when these 10 lepers started their journey, they still have leprosy.
We are living at a time that people's main concern is to have 100% guarantee of everything that is attached to a list of contingency plans or strategies. And that is fine. In many aspects of lives, assurances are necessities. But there are seasons in life that we have to take some steps of faith, though we don't know what will happen next. That the reason why we sometimes get stuck in life, is because we don't want to move forward unless everything is perfectly laid out.
Then we get trapped in our own demands for life to handover our preconditions.
But many times life flows in the direction that we are already walking on. Your act of faith propels the synchronicity of life to go with you. We grow as we go. We are bless as we progress. We advance as we invest. There are crucial steps-of-faith are needed for energy and life's vitality to move with you.
Jesus said, "go." They moved. And they were healed. Martin Luther King Jr. one said, "Take that first step in faith, You don't need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
SECOND; THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
V.15: "One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him." Gratitude is an act of greater propensity than what is usually expected. Because gratitude knows that God exceeds all our dreams, longings and expectations.
The leper's skin sores and infections were vanished! His years of seclusion have ended. He can go back to the temple and worship.
He can return to his family and be once more held by his wife and kids. Who will not leap with gladness? Who will not shout for joy? Well, the other 9 lepers did not. And it did not say why they did not come back. But it did imply what they missed.
They missed the benefit of praising God. That inner joy that naturally flows to those with grateful hearts. The other 9 did not receive that powerful benediction: rise and go! They missed that empowering affirmation to start anew.
Spiritual leprosy here and there are still healed today. But only a few will have a real connection with the healer.
Prayers are still answered here and there. But only a few will connect to the giver of all answered prayers. Because the intensity of happiness that blessings bring is temporary. But gratitude to the Source and Author of all blessings is long-lasting.