Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Heals Ten People with Leprosy

Luke 17:11-19

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - God's Promise to Zechariah (Luke 1:5-25)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Opening Prayer

From the Farthest End (Matthew 16:13-19) = Refer to a map during the first part of this lesson
    How far away from Jerusalem is Jesus at the time recognized as the turning point of His ministry?
      Mark 8:27 = Around Caesarea Philippi, Northernmost part of Palestine, near Mt. Hermon
    Note: Caesarea Philippi was rebuilt by Herod's son Philip, named after self & Tiberius Caesar
      Was originally called Paneas (now called Banias) after Greek god Pan - shrine was there
      A number of cities were built by and named for a Caesar
    What special event occurred during this trip into this especially pagan area?
      Matthew 16:13-16 = Peter confessed Jesus to be the promised Messiah, God's Son
    How did Jesus respond to this confession? = God's words spoken through Peter
      Matthew 16:17-19 = Said it would be the foundation of His church

The Turning Point of Jesus' Ministry (Matthew 16-17)
    How does this event mark the turning point in Jesus' ministry?
      Matthew 16:21 = He turned His focus toward teaching His disciples
    How else does Matthew make it clear that Jesus' focus had changed?
      Matthew 16:20 = Only wanted His disciples to recognize and understand Him as Christ
    What confirmation do the disciples get that Jesus is really who He is explaining Himself to be?
      Matthew 17:1-5 = He was transfigured, visited & commended by the Father (Mt. Hermon?)
    Was this experience to help them point others to Jesus or to help them understand who He was?
      Matthew 17:9 = It was for their benefit, to help them understand

To Jerusalem (John 7)
    Does Mark agree that Jesus now changed His teaching focus from the people to His disciples?
      Mark 9:30-31 = Yes, He passed through Galilee without ministering to the people
    Where did Jesus then go?
      Mark 9:33a; 10:1 = Stopped briefly at home in Capernaum, then to Judea & Perea
    How did He get there? = Samaritans were particularly hostile to Jews going to Jerusalem
      Luke 9:51-56 = Traveled through Samaria instead of around it (as most Jews did)

    Did Jesus go to Jerusalem at this time, or did He wait until His final entrance? = October
      John 7:1-3, 14-15 = He went to celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles (end of harvest)
    How did Jews in the temple for the Feast interpret Jesus' presence in the temple?
      John 7:25-26 = He must be recognized by the leaders as the Messiah
    How did the Jewish leaders respond to these rumors?
      John 7:32 = They tried to arrest Him

In Judea and Perea (John 10:22-42)
    How long did Jesus stay in the Jerusalem area in Judea?
      John 10:22-23 = In temple at Feast of Dedication - Hanukkah (December)
    How did the Jews visiting for the Feast respond to Jesus at this time?
      John 10:24, 30-31, 39 = They wondered if He was the Messiah, tried to kill Him
    Where does Jesus spend most of the rest of His time before His final trip to Jerusalem?
      John 10:40-42 = Across the Jordan River - In Perea
    How do Matthew and Mark summarize these months of Jesus in and around Jerusalem?
      Matthew 19:1 (Mark 10:1) = Went into Judea and to the other side of the Jordan

The Last Days in Judea (John 11)
    What caused Jesus to return from across the Jordan?
      John 11:1-8 = To raise His friend Lazarus from the dead
    Other than love for His friend, why would Jesus make such a risky trip?
      John 11:18-19, 45 = It showed His power and brought many to faith in Him
    How did this prepare for His arrest and death that would occur in just a few months (or weeks)?
      John 11:46-50, 53 = It heated the Jewish leaders' desire to get rid of Jesus
    Since it wasn't yet time for Him to die, where did Jesus go?
      John 11:54 = To a village near the desert called Ephraim (not the tribal region of Ephraim)

A Quick Trip Home (Luke 17:11)
    Did Jesus stay in Ephraim the entire time preceding His final trip in to Jerusalem?
      Luke 17:11 = He apparently returned to southern Galilee
    Why might Jesus have returned to southern Galilee before His final trip to Jerusalem?
      Mark 15:40-41 = To gather friends and disciples to join in the journey
    Do we have any stories of any of these companions on this final journey?
      Matthew 20:20-21 = Mrs. Zebedee (from Capernaum/Bethsaiada) made request for sons
    Was this a joyful journey for Jesus' companions?
      Mark 10:32 = They were afraid; Jesus "took the Twelve aside" & told what would happen
    Did Jesus' traveling party change size as they traveled?
      Mark 10:46 = A large crowd joined them

Another Purpose for This Path (Luke 17:12-13)
    How do we see that Jesus didn't return to southern Galilee just to pick up friends?
      Luke 17:11 = He "traveled along the border" - Border was east-west, Trip was north-south
      The Evangelist with special pains desires to show that He did not journey on the usual road. ... He did not journey thus for His own sake, but in order to preach as much as possible and be of service to many. ... For He was sent to offer His services to everyone.
    For what service to others might Jesus have traveled this road?
      Luke 17:12-13 = To heal these ten lepers

Leprosy in the Bible (Leviticus 13-14)
    Leprosy today (Hansen's disease) is now uncommon, contagious by continued contact
      Begins with red spots on the face, ears, forearms and thighs that turn into thick nodules
        Skin drops off forming ulcers; Tissue is lost leading to contraction & deformity
      Bones are affected and fingers drop off; Body "dissolves" in later stages
    Leprosy of the Bible may have included a number of other forms of skin diseases

    How were the Jews protected against spreading plagues of contagious leprosy?
      Leviticus 13:1-3 = Priests were to examine any potential skin diseases
    How were Jews protected from being declared unclean for minor skin problems?
      Leviticus 13:4-6 = Periods of isolation and re-examination were prescribed
    What would happen to those who were determined to be unclean from leprosy?
      Leviticus 13:45-46 = Quarantined from the community, appear visibly unclean

    Was there any hope for those who had been declared unclean from leprosy?
      Leviticus 14:1-3a = Yes, if condition improved, priest would GO OUT and re-examine
    What was done if the person was found to be healed?
      Leviticus 14:3b-4 = The priest would conduct a cleansing ceremony
    What part of the ceremony symbolized the death that results from a person's uncleanness?
      Leviticus 14:5 = One of the birds would be killed and its life blood poured into a bowl
    How was this bowl of life blood and cleansing water used to express the return of life and purity?
      Leviticus 14:6-7a = Sprinkled 7 times (complete) to cover the person

    Matthew Henry:
      The living bird, with a little scarlet wool, and a bunch of hyssop, must be fastened to a cedar stick... The cedar-wood signified the restoring of the leper to his strength and soundness, for that is a sort of wood not apt to putrefy. The scarlet wool signified his recovering a florid color again, for the leprosy made him white as snow. And the hyssop intimated the removing of the disagreeable scent which commonly attended the leprosy.
    How was the person then revealed to be free from their previous "living death"?
      Leviticus 14:7b = The live bird soaked in blood and water was released in the open
    After seven days of partial re-acceptance, how was the person restored to fellowship with God?
      Leviticus 14:10-12, 19-20 = Present offerings for guilt, sin, commitment and thanksgiving

Leprosy in Our Lives
    How does Spurgeon explain that we are to understand leprosy in relation to our own lives?
      Leprosy is to be considered by us as the type of sin; and as we read the chapters in Leviticus, which concern the shutting up or putting apart, and the purification of a cleansed leper, we are to understand every sentence as having in it a gospel sermon to us, teaching what is the condition of a sinner in the sight of God, how the sinner is to be cured, and how he can be restored to the privileges from which the leprosy of sin had utterly shut him out.
    How is the influence of sin on our lives like leprosy?
      James 1:14-15 = It continues to feed on itself and grow until it destroys the whole person
    How are we to be treated as lepers?
      1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 6-7, 13 = We are to be expelled from God's community
    How are we cleansed and freed when we present our leprosy of sin in confession to God?
      Ephesians 5:25-27 = Christ gave His life-blood and water of baptism to cleanse & free us
    What sacrifice do we have that restores us to fellowship with God?
      Hebrews 10:8-10 = Jesus was sacrificed to make us holy in God's sight once and for all

Faith Revealed (Luke 17:12-13)
    How did the ten lepers respond to the presence of Jesus?
      Luke 17:12-13 = They met Him, stood at a distance and called loudly for His mercy
    What do we learn of faith from the boldness of the lepers in going to meet Jesus?
      2 Corinthians 3:12 (James 1:6) = Faith is to be bold, not doubting God's providence
    What do we learn of faith from the lepers calling and looking to Jesus for healing?
      Hebrews 11:1 = Faith holds fast to what it does not see, feel or experience
    What do we learn of faith from the lepers standing at a distance?
      Romans 5:8 = Faith does not rely on worthiness or merit, but trusts in mercy

Love Revealed (Luke 17:14)
    How does Jesus respond to this revelation of the lepers' faith?
      Luke 17:14a = Tells them to show themselves to the priest
    How was Jesus showing who He was by sending them rather than saying that He would heal them?
      Isaiah 65:24 = Messianic prophesy spoke of answers to prayer before they were asked
    How had Jesus showed His love to another leper earlier in His ministry?
      Luke 5:12-14 = He had touched the unclean man and healed him
    What does this love that Jesus showed for these unclean lepers mean for our own lives?
      John 13:34-35 = We are to love one another as He has first loved us
    Doesn't it take just faith to be a Christian? Is love required also?
      1 Corinthians 13:2 = Yes
    Why is love also required?
      James 2:26 = Faith without deeds of love is dead

Thanksgiving Revealed (Luke 17:15-16)
    How did the lepers respond in faith to Jesus' instruction?
      Luke 17:14b = They followed His instruction without questioning
    How did the lepers respond in thanksgiving when they were healed?
      Luke 17:15-16 = Only one of the ten returned and thanked Him
    Although this man was not a Jew, what did He know about how to respond to God's goodness?
      Psalm 107:8 = We are to thank God for His unfailing love and great deeds for us

Praise Commended (Luke 17:17-19)
    How did Jesus respond to receiving thanks from only one of the ten lepers?
      Luke 17:17-18 = He questioned why the others (Jews) hadn't returned and thanked Him
    But wasn't it more important for them to go through the ceremonial cleansing process?
      Psalm 51:15-17 = Thanks and praise to God are more important than sacrifices
    What words did Jesus have for the leper who returned?
      Luke 17:19 = Your faith has made you well
    How did this differ from the cleansing which the other lepers also received?
      Luke 7:48-50 = He was also cleansed from the leprosy of sin

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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