Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers:


Luke 17

I read through the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers and told the kids to pay attention because I was going to ask questions and give candy if you knew the answer

After reading the passage, the first question I asked was:

What disease did the ten me have?

We then talked about leprosy briefly and I showed them the images below (also in a word doc):

leper handarmadillo
This is a picture of a hand of someone with leprosy.  Back in Jesus's time there wasn't any way leprosy could be treated.  It is caused by a bateria that can spread from person to person, so when a person got leprosy, they couldn't be around their family anymore.  Have you ever gotten sick and your parents wouldn't let you go to school or church?  It was just like this, but they were sick for the rest of their lives.  They would have to leave their families and live with other lepers.  Any time they got near people, they would have to yell "UNCLEAN!" so people would know they needed to keep away from them.  

The disease was very bad, it attacks the colder parts of your body like your fingers and toes, and your nose, and sometimes your eyes so you'd become blind.  Armadillos have a cooler body temperature than humans, so it turns out that 1 in 6 armadillos is infected with leprosy (that's probably why you don't see them in petting zoos).  It isn't a common disease in the US since only a few thousand people have it and there are decent medications available for it, but it is still a big problem in India and many countries.

So these 10 lepers came near Jesus, can I get ten volunteers?  Since the Bible doesn't tell us the names of the ten lepers we are going to give them names...  I took some pieces of card stock/ cardboard, hole punched them and used twine for the nameplates. (named them either the 7 dwarfs, plus Huey Dewy and Luey or the 7 reindeer and 3 stooges or something like that for fun)

So then we briefly acted out the story.  I had the kids shout "Unclean!" and then "Heal us!"  and what did Jesus do? (another piece of candy to the audience).

That's right, Jesus healed them.  Now, when a person was healed of leprosy (which never happened before), they needed to present themselves to a priest so they could return to normal life.  It says, when they were heading in the direction of the priest they realized they were healed.  Do you think they were thankful to be healed? (no candy for that one)

So what happened, 9 of the guys continued to go to the priest which was what Jesus told them to do (so you nine can go and sit down), so they weren't doing something wrong, but one of them stopped, and came to Jesus to thank him.  He was so thankful that he had to go and say thank you!  And the bible tells us that Jesus appreciated what this person, a Samaritan did.  Samaritans were very well liked by Jews, kind of like Giants fans in Philadelphia.  So the 9 lepers had their bodies healed, but this 10th leper not only had his body healed, but his sins forgiven because he believed at that point in time in Jesus as his Lord.

So what can we learn from this?  (rhetorical question).  Has anyone ever done something kind for you?  Maybe not heal you from leprosy, but did someone make your lunch today? Did someone give you a birthday present this year?  Whenever someone is kind to us, we need to BE thankful, SAY thank you, and ACT thankful.  To be thankful you need to recognize what someone did for you and appreciate them in your heart.  Saying thank you is the easy part, and something we should do everytime.  The Samaritan man could've yelled "Thank you!" and walked away with the others, but he also ACTED thankful by coming to Jesus and showing his appreciation.  So if you parents make you dinner, you should BE thankful by appreciating what they did, SAY thank you "for dinner, mom/dad" and ACT thankful by clearing your plate, or setting the table, or showing them with your actions that you appreciate what they did.

Let's pray.

Word Images of Leprosy and Armadillo


"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" - 2 Corinthians 9:7