Not long ago, I shared a post concerning the Good Samaritan and a different perspective I had never seen. In fact, like The Good Samaritan Parable, there are many events and parables in the life of Yeshua that point to the Two Stick Prophecy and the restoration of All Yisrael in one way or another. I was reminded this morning of another that is likely much more familiar to us. Here are my thoughts on some of the details..
Luke 17:11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [a]between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; 13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. 15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? 18 [b]Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith [c]has made you well.”
A couple obvious connections pop out, but be patient. Let’s start from the top! Every detail matters.
While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [a]between Samaria and Galilee.
Even today, the Mashiach is headed to Jerusalem. Interestingly, even today He is passing through/between/along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. Galilee, obviously is a picture of Judah and those walking in obedience to God’s Torah while Samaria, equally obvious, represents the half-breed unclean peoples who are not obedient to the Torah and deny the supremacy of Jerusalem (Jn. 4:20).
12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him;
Why are Yeshua’s parables and life experiences filled with ‘ten’s? He said, in Matthew 15:24, that He was sent ‘only to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.’ Over and over we see Him reaching out to the ‘ten lost tribes,’ represented over and over in parables and events by the number 10. Highlighting who these are is the descriptor ‘leprous.’ Leprosy is a state of uncleanness that removed the afflicted from the camp. They were cast out of the community until clean or dead. (Note: While not always a judgement, uncleanness by leprosy could be judgment as seen in Numbers 12:10, 2 Samuel 3:29 and 2 Kings 5:27) The Hose of Israel, the ten lost tribes, were judged and spewed into the nations because they were unclean. The ten leprous men are a perfect picture of the ten lost tribes, further cemented by the phrase ‘stood at a distance,’ which is similar to Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2,
11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, [a]excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off [b]have been brought near [c]by the blood of Christ.
The narrative of the Ten Lepers then tells us,
they raised their voices, saying, “Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!”
Right now, today, throughout the world, this very thing is happening as the unclean within Christendom are recognizing that the Messiah is headed to Jerusalem and they are crying out for mercy! For my family, it was studying prophecy and asking over and over in prayer, “what does it mean to come out of [Babylon] so we will not participate in her sins and receive her judgments?” The Spirit led us to reevaluate every part of our faith walk according to Scripture… ALL of Scripture. This blog, particularly the RT section, chronicles my family’s journey to Truth.
Yeshua’s response to the ten lepers is not, ‘believe in Me,’ or ‘faith,’ rather He tells them something to DO! More significantly, what He tells them to DO is to obey the Torah!
He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”
That, chaverim (friends), is a Torah commandment! See Leviticus 14! Yeshua tells them that HIS mercy is that they come into Torah compliance! Notice, it is only after they begin walking in obedience to His commandment to be obedient to the Torah that they are made clean!
…as they were going, they were cleansed.
Brothers and sisters, this is a clear picture of what is happening in the world today! The Messiah is on His way to Jerusalem and He is passing through Galilee and Samaria and pointing those who cry out for “mercy” to be Torah obedient!
15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.
I know Christendom largely interprets this verse to mean we all need to be more thankful. It is appalling that only 1/10th came back to give praise and thankfulness… I get that, but maybe there is something much deeper happening here.
The Messiah’s mission is to restore Yisrael into ONE Kingdom. The prophets tell us over and over that only a remnant will return (1/10th?) but also that once reunited, the Kingdom will be ONE, not two. (Ezekiel 37:15-28 esp. 22) Maybe, the story points us to this much more important understanding rather than a simple lesson on thankfulness.
We are specifically told that the ‘one’ who came in thankfulness was a Samaritan. What did the ten tribes become other than half-breed, unclean, Samaritans of al stripes? I am a Samaritan! A thankful, Torah keeping, Messiah believing Samaritan!
Yeshua highlights this aspect of the story in pointed language using a word that the Torah often uses to refer to the ‘ger’ who is joined to Yisrael,
17 Then Yeshua answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? 18 [b]Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
The final neat little message from this story points to faith, works and walk being inextricably entwined.
19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith [c]has made you well.”
Over and over in Scripture how we live is called or compared to our ‘walk.’ In fact, lameness is a picture of walking contrary to God’s Torah. Here Yeshua tells the cleansed leper to ‘stand up and go!‘ This is a message concerning his ‘walk!’ Further, his obedience to the Torah command to ‘show yourself to the priest’ is an action that reveals ‘faith.’ Ya’acov (James) says,
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
The larger passage linked above and the rest of the book of Ya’acov, ironically written to ‘the twelve tribes scattered abroad,’ is about Torah obedience. (See 1:25; 2:12; 4:12; etc. Compare to Psalm 19:44-45!!)
Ultimately, what we see in this story is a clear picture of the restoration of the Ten Lost Tribes, the scattered outcasts of Yisrael’ being healed and made clean at the end of the age, exactly as prophesied in many Scripture by multiple prophets. To verify the timing as pictured in the Luke passage, one only has to read the next few verses… Luke 17:20 and following is Yeshua prophesying about the End of Days!
Are you a leper that needs cleansing for the coming King?? Consider crying out, ‘Have mercy!!’ and do not be surprised if He says, ‘go show yourself to the priests’ (i.e., become Torah obedient!!)
Baruch haba b’shem YHVH!!