Luke 17:11-19 NKJV
“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers who stood afar off.”
As Jesus was traveling, ten lepers saw Jesus off in the distance. The recognized Him and they called out to Him. They wanted Jesus to heal them.
Luke 17:13 NKJV
“And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ ”
When Jesus saw ten lepers off in the distance, He gave them a command.
Luke 17:14 NKJV
“So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.”
Jesus told them to go to the priest. Only a priest could declare that a leper was clean (well). The priest would examine them and then begin the ritual for cleansing healed lepers.
Leviticus 14:1-9 NKJV
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest. And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, a cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field. He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and stay outside his tent seven days. But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows- all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean.”
After the cleansing was complete then a wave offering and a trespass offering was to be given.
Leviticus 14:12-17 NKJV
“And the priest shall take one male lamb and offer it as a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them as a wave offering before the LORD. Then he shall kill the lamb in the place where he kills the sin offering and the burnt offering, in a holy place; for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering. It is most holy. The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own hand. Then the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD. And of the rest of the oil in his hand, the priest shall put some on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the blood of the trespass offering.”
After the trespass offering was made, atonement for the leper was made.
Leviticus 14:18 NKJV
“The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed. So the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD.”
A burnt offering was to be offered after the atonement was made.
Leviticus 14:20 NKJV
“And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the alter. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.
Nine of the lepers saw Jesus as a prophet or a man who could perform miracles. But one recognized Jesus as someone much greater. As they walked away, all ten of the lepers were cleansed (healed).
Luke 17:15-16 NKJV
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”
All ten of the lepers called upon the Lord and all ten listened for His voice. All ten had captured the attention of Jesus. But only one returned to Him (his and our High Priest) and gave thanks and worshipped Him. Only one had seen Jesus through spiritual eyes. Only one had ministered to Jesus.
Luke 17:17-18 NKJV
“So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Where there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
Instead of just being healed (cleansed from leprosy), the one leper (the one who ministered to the Lord) was made whole.
Luke 17:19 NKJV
“And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.’ ”
The one leper returned to Jesus to glorify the Lord. He gave thanks to the one responsible for his healing. Because he recognized Jesus for who He was and worshiped Him, he received an even greater blessing. He was made whole – every part of his body that he had lost to the disease (leprosy) was restored. When something is restored it is brought back to a former (normal) condition.
Restore: bring back, establish again, restore order, bring back to a former condition, bring back to a normal condition, give back, put back.
Nine of the lepers went to the priest, one of the lepers went to the great high priest (Jesus). Nine went to participate in a ritual that pointed to the Messiah. One went to the Messiah, himself. Just like the one leper, we should worship the Lord before we see the victory. We worship the Lord for who He is, not what He’s done. The one leper came back to worship Jesus before he was made whole (before restoration). When we worship the Lord and minister to Him for who he is (our High Priest) we too can be made whole. We too, can be restored. Everything that the enemy has tried to take from us can be returned (restored). We serve a God of restoration.