This Week's Story

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Ten diseased stinking men with leprosy want to see Jesus.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

I said, "Thank you!"

I wouldn’t help anyone who looked like me, or any of the men I am with. We are ten diseased stinking men who want to see Jesus. Would he heal our leprosy?

Our hair hangs in tangled knots. The Jewish priests will not allow us to comb it. Much of it is white from leprosy and might fall out and spread our disease.

Our clothes are ripped. Among our people when someone close to you dies, you tear your clothes. I suppose we are worse than dead and must rip our own clothing. Who would tear their clothes for us?

If you get close to us, you know that we smell bad from dirt and open sores. We have a contagious skin disease that started with a rash or boils. Jewish priests inspected our infected areas two times. Were our sores more than skin deep? Had the hair around them turned white? Ours had.

We were told, “Stay away from people and towns. Tear your clothes. Let your hair hang. When people come near you call, “Unclean. Unclean.” As long, as our disease lasts, we are isolated, just as a prisoner might be in prison. People think that the disease eating away at us, is a symbol of sin and death.

I miss my people. The nine men I travel with are Jews. I am a Samaritan. The men do not care about me, since I am a Samaritan. To them I am a mixed-breed, a mongrel dog. They let me travel with them.

Today as we travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee, we saw Jesus in the distance. What a strange man! He was a Jew and should avoid Samaria. Instead he walked into Samaria. We called, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

He looked at us and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”

Immediately, we obeyed him and started on our way to Jerusalem to be inspected by Jewish priests. I was not sure if one would see me, since I am a Samaritan.

I looked at my hands, my feet, and felt my head. The open sores had vanished. The other men discovered that they were healed. Missing toes and fingers had been replaced. They raced towards Jerusalem.

I stopped. How could I move ahead? I was healed! This man named Jesus had healed me. He cared about me, a Samaritan.

A loud cry burst from me, “Praise the God of Israel. I am healed!” When I reached Jesus, I was laughing, crying, and shouting. I fell on the ground in front of the feet of Jesus. “Thank you, you alone have cured me. Thank you! My heart sings gratitude to you.”

Jesus asked me, “I healed ten men. Where are they? Do only you, a foreigner, return and give glory to God?”

I knew that Jesus was saying much more. The men with me should have thanked him. When I praised him, I was praising God.

He told me, “Stand up and go. Your faith has made you whole. “

I thought, Whole? I am not dead, or a man rotting with sin and contagious sores. I have somewhere to go, things to do. I will tell people, Jews and Samaritans, what Jesus has done for me.

This is Barbara Steiner with a man who said, “Thank you!”

You can find this story without the added cultural facts in Luke 17 of the Bible. You are invited to visit: thisweeksstory.com.

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