Archive for the ‘leprosy’ tag
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 5:1–14.
- Just as the Lord used an ordinary servant girl and ordinary water to heal Naaman, He cares for us through the ordinary people and ordinary means He chooses.
- Law: We too often want or even expect God to work in dramatic and exciting ways, such as pulsating worship, spectacular results to our witnessing, or giving us personal signs.
- Gospel: God gives forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation through ordinary water, through bread and wine, and through the voice of humble servants, all by the power of His simple Word.
- Read 2 Kings 5:2–6. How does God use the injustice of the enslaving of the young Israelite girl to accomplish His divine purpose?
- Why do you suppose the king of Israel tore his clothes when the Syrian king’s letter asked him to cure Naaman of his leprosy?
- Why was Naaman angry when he received Elisha’s words?
- Read 2 Kings 5:15. What is the purpose of Elisha’s prescription for healing?
- Who helped Naaman realize that God was able to heal him through Elisha? How does God work through Christian neighbors to share His love?
- Naaman was healed with simple water, directed by God’s Word. What does this remind us of today? What do we receive through Baptism?
- Read Ephesians 2:1–5, 10. Describe the change that takes place in us through Baptism. What effect does that change have on us? Read also 1 Peter 2:9–12. What examples can you give of Christians demonstrating these effects in their lives?
- How does God demonstrate that His ways are beyond human thought and understanding?
- God works through simple means to heal Naaman. How does God continue to work through simple means today to provide healing and strength to sinners?
The text for this lesson is Luke 17:11-19.
- In the same way He healed the men with leprosy, Jesus forgives and heals us from the sickness of sin and death. In faith, we respond with thankful hearts, praising Him for His love for us.
- Law: Sickness and disease are results of sin. Sickness shows me the effects of sin and how powerless I am to overcome it. In my sin, I cry to God for mercy.
- Gospel: Jesus came to heal me from the sickness of sin. God’s Son, Jesus, is the only one who overcame sin, and His victory is mine in faith. God hears my cry of faith and grants me forgiveness, life, and salvation.
1. Jesus’ miracles function as significant demonstrations of His power over all creation, but they also serve another important purpose. According to Luke 7:18–23, what did Jesus’ miracles, such as today’s story about the healing of the ten lepers, confirm for John the Baptist?
2. Samaria was located between Judea and Galilee, so Jesus from time to time did travel through Samaria. However, Jews made it a practice to avoid both Samaria and Samaritans. The Samaritans as a people were notorious for their religious promiscuity. They were known to have worshiped the gods of five other nations. They edited their own version of the Old Testament, known as the Samaritan Pentateuch, and they set up a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. Today’s lesson demonstrates an important point about the Samaritans’ status in Jesus’ eyes—He came for them too. How does this story illustrate the point Paul makes in Galatians 3:26–29?
3. Lepers lived at the bottom of society. One authority in Jesus’ day mandated fifty yards between a leper and a healthy person. They lived without hope, for doctors could not cure their skin diseases. Yet Jesus had great compassion for them. One of the first people Jesus healed was a leper. What is so striking about Jesus’ interaction with the leper in Luke 5:12–16? How does this correspond to the picture of the Messiah that Isaiah gives in Isaiah 53:3–4?
4. When Jesus healed the leper in Luke 5, He both spoke and touched the leper to heal him. Based on Luke 17:14, what seems to be the manner in which Jesus healed the ten lepers? How does Jesus speak in this manner today?
5. The lepers were instructed to go to the temple in Jerusalem in order to show themselves to the priests and perform ceremonial cleansing. At the temple, they would also have given thanks to God for the mercy He had shown to them by healing them. Yet the Samaritan recognized something very important that the other nine lepers did not. Instead of going to give thanks to God at the temple, where did the Samaritan go to give thanks to God? According to John 2:18–22, what would replace the temple in Jerusalem?
6. Most versions of the Bible, including the English Standard Version, have Jesus say to the Samaritan in Luke 17:19, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” While this translation is grammatically possible, a more literal translation would be, “Your faith has saved you.” All ten lepers certainly had faith that Jesus could heal them; they took Him at His Word when they went to show themselves to the priest. But only the Samaritan returned to worship God in the person of Jesus. Only the Samaritan had received true saving faith. What does this lesson teach us about faith? According to Ephesians 2:8–9, what is the true source of faith?
7. Today’s lesson about the ten lepers reminds us that sick and suffering people are all around us, even in the midst of our congregations. One of the responsibilities of pastors is to visit the sick in order to bring them Jesus’ Word and His life-giving body and blood. Yet visiting the sick is one of the good works that Jesus encourages all Christians to do. According to Matthew 25:31–40, what is the significance of visiting the sick? What does this passage teach us about the good works of Christians? How do Romans 14:23b and Ephesians 2:10 help explain this teaching about good works?
8. One of the oldest names that the Church has for the Lord’s Supper is Eucharist. This name comes from the Greek word εύχαριστέω (eucharisteo), which means “to be thankful” or “to give thanks.” When Jesus took the bread and cup at the Last Supper, He “gave thanks” for both of them (Luke 22:17, 19). The Church has often called the Lord’s Supper the Eucharist because Christians come before the altar in thanksgiving of what they are about to receive: Jesus’ true body and blood. In today’s lesson, the Samaritan returns to Jesus “thanking Him,” and in the Greek, the word is εύχαριστέω (eucharisteo). How do the Samaritan’s actions toward Jesus mirror our actions at the Lord’s Supper?
9. Jesus instructed the lepers to go to the priests at the temple in Jerusalem in order to be ceremonially cleansed. Once a person was physically cleansed, he needed spiritual cleansing as well. Leviticus 14:1–32 prescribes the cleansing ritual for a person who had been healed of a skin disease. The Old Testament laws for cleansing were in effect until Jesus fulfilled the Law through His death and resurrection. Instead of the Old Testament cleansing rituals, how does God cleanse us in the Church? Read the following passages and note the ways God cleanses us from sin.
a. Acts 15:5–11
b. 1 John 1:7–9
c. Ephesians 5:25–27
d. Hebrews 9:22
- The Word of God spoken by the prophet was in and with the water of the Jordan to restore the flesh of Naaman; the Word of God spoken by the pastor is in and with the water of the baptismal font to cleanse us of our sin and restore us as children of the heavenly Father.
- Law: Sin and its effects slowly kill me, both in body and soul.
- Gospel: Jesus saves me, both in body and in soul. He cleanses me from sin and at the resurrection will heal my body and make it perfect, so it will be like His.
Elisha, successor to Elijah, lived in the mid-to-late ninth century BC. His ministry was concentrated mainly in the Northern Kingdom during the reigns of four Israelite kings: Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash. There was bad blood aplenty between Israel and Syria—Naaman’s home turf—dating back to Solomon’s day and beyond (e.g., 1 Kings 11:23–25). In fact, the king before whom Naaman appears, Jehoram, lost his own father, Ahab, to the Syrians just a few years before (1 Kings 22:29–40).
Note that some English translations render “Syria” as “Aram” (e.g., NIV), but both names refer to the same country, located north and east of Israel. The Hebrew word usually translated as “leprosy” actually encompassed a variety of skin disorders. So whether Naaman actually had what we call leprosy (technically known as Hansen’s disease) cannot be proven. Either way, his skin disease was serious enough to prompt him to undertake a long and potentially dangerous journey.