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The Ten Lepers
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Biblical Characters
    Social outcasts; likely afflicted with Hansen’s disease
    Nine hailed from Jerusalem, one from Samaria
    Mentioned in the ‘nine ungrateful lepers’ parable of the New Testament
    ’Cleansing' passage has become one of the best known miracles of Jesus, recorded in the Gospel of Luke (17:11-19)
    Famously encountered Jesus Christ, on his way to Jerusalem, traveling along the border between Samaria and Galilee
    Appealed to Christ for mercy, and were subsequently told to ‘go the priests’; were later cleansed and healed en route
    All continued to the High Priests, with the exception of one Samaritan, who returned to Jesus and threw himself at his feet, prompting Jesus to reflect: ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? Rise and go; your faith has saved you.’
    They ran home as soon as they were cleansed and only one returned to thank Jesus for his miracle.
    They inspired a legitimately creepy scene in the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ rock opera (‘there’s too many of you!’)
    Their interaction with Jesus only figures into the Gospel of Luke, but goes unmentioned in other Canonical writings.
    They tend to show up in Biblical art appearing ‘not all that disfigured’ probably because artists figured that most couldn’t stomach how grotesque they probably really looked.
    Many a first-time reader it is who concludes the story going ‘he told them to go to the priests, and they did… so what’s the problem?’
    Some Biblical abridgements tend to suggest that the nine from Jerusalem treated the Samaritan crappily because of where he came from, but there’s nothing in the Book to suggest such a thing (although the Samaritans were treated poorly in other parts of the Bible).
    Like the The Good Samaritan parable, the depiction of Jerusalem's residents as 'less holy' may have been intended to cast the city (where Jesus would be arrested, tried and executed) in as negative a light as possible.
    Some speculate that they weren’t afflicted with Hansen’s disease at all, but an entirely different disease, perhaps of a supernatural nature that could only be cured by the grace of God.
    Secular interpreters of the Bible tend to use the passage to complain about people in their lives they consider to be ungrateful (most of whom probably have never even seen a leper in person, let alone touched – or healed - one).
    Is it just us or does the term ‘ungrateful’ sound like a pretty strong word…?
    They were most likely being accused of inherent sinfulness for the accident of catching a disease.
    They would have lost limbs, eyesight, and the freedom to be with their friends or families.
    They would have been forced to yell ‘unclean’ wherever they went to warn people to clear the road when they approached (or to just wear a cow bell around their necks).
    They were probably disappointed that Jesus didn’t actually touch them but just told them to go into the city they were barred from ever entering again.
    They may have been so caught up in the excitement and shock of being cured of a terribly disfiguring disease that they temporarily forgot about Jesus (unless you’ve been through it, it’s hard to judge).
    Part of their reason for continuing on may have been that only the High Priests, upon examining them, could determine whether or not they were really ‘clean’ and free to return home.
    The other nines’ motives were rationalized in one of the Charlie Brown comics: ‘One man waited to see if the cure was real/One waited to see if it would last./One said he would see Jesus later./One decided that he had never really had leprosy/One gave the glory to the priests…’
    They may have been the inspiration for a very important subplot of Lew Wallace's novel 'Ben-Hur' (Judah’s mother and sister being afflicted with leprosy, and eventually being healed by Christ).
    They are proof that there is a difference between being physically cleansed and spiritually cleansed.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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