Background: At the time of Jesus, the lepers had to live isolated from other people, because they were afflicted with this dreaded skin disease. If someone thought he was healed, he had to show himself to the priests (Lev.13-14). The whole Old Testa¬ment only mentions about two or three such miracles. As for the Sama¬ritans, the Jews despised them for being foreigners and half pagans.
Think about the day when these 10 men realized they had been afflicted with leprosy. What kind of thoughts do you think crossed their minds regarding the future of themselves and their family?
What similarities do you find between leprosy at the time of Jesus and HIV/AIDS now?
What do you think were the highlights in the lives of these sick and isolated people?
What did these lepers expect Jesus to do for them - look at their prayer in verse 13?
What can we learn from Jesus behaviour in the text when we think about HIV/AIDS problem now?
The border between Samaria and Galilee is about 50-60 kilome¬tres (35-40 miles) from the cities where Jewish priests used to dwell. Think of various reasons why Jesus didn't heal these men right away, but sent them far away instead?
What made these men start this difficult journey, even though they hadn't been healed yet?
Would you call these ten men believers or non-believers at the moment they set out on their journey?
The Jewish priests didn't want to have anything to do with Samaritans. Why did the one Samaritan set out for this journey together with the Jews?
Think of as many reasons as possible why the nine Jews didn't come back to Jesus to thank him?
Why did the Samaritan come back to Jesus to thank him?
Why was Jesus disappointed about the nine not returning to him?
Do you think you have ever disappointed Jesus by similar behav¬iour as these nine men showed?
"Your faith has healed you" could be also translated as "Your faith has saved you". Why did Jesus want to say these words to the Samaritan?
What is the difference between the faith that seeks healing and the faith that seeks Jesus himself?
Why doesn't "healing faith" necessarily save those who have it?
What did the years of isolation and shame mean to the nine Jews, when they thought about them afterwards?
What did the years of illness mean to the Samaritan?
GLAD TIDINGS: Jesus had to experience on the cross the same kind of isolation and shame as the lepers did: "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering... Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows" (Is.53¬:3-4). That was the price Jesus had to pay for this miracle.