A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Jesus heals ten lepers


One day, as Jesus was travelling through a village, he encountered ten people with leprosy (who, in those days, were treated as social outcasts). The lepers did not dare approach Jesus but called out to him, asking for his mercy. He replied, telling them to show themselves to the priests. This was something all lepers had to do if they thought they had been healed since, without the priest’s confirmation of their restoration, they would not be allowed back into society. 

The ten set off to obey Jesus’ instructions and as they were walking they realised they had been healed of their leprosy. However only one of them thought to turn back and thank Jesus, praising God for his healing. Jesus expressed his surprise that although ten lepers were healed, only one bothered to say thank-you. His surprise was increased by the fact that grateful leper was a Samaritan. Samaritans were usually regarded as poor examples of how to live a godly life and were spurned by the Jews. Jesus told the man that his faith had made him well.

Stained glass depiction of Jesus and the ten lepersThe story illustrates:

  • Jesus’ ability and willingness to heal sick people
  • The importance of thanking God for the blessings that are received from him.

Related topics

Big ideas from the Bible: Miracles

Bible References

Luke 17:11-19
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