Bible Stories for the Young

“Thank You”

The Leper Who Remembered


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“Thank You” : The Leper Who Remembered

Once there were 10 sick men. They had a disease called leprosy. Leprosy made their skin hurt and little bits of their fingers and toes would fall off. Ouch!

Have you ever been sick and had to stay away from your friends so that you didn’t get them sick? It can be lonely, can’t it?

People with leprosy had to stay far away from other people so that they didn’t give the sickness to others.

They couldn’t see their friends. They couldn’t see their families. They couldn’t see all the people who loved them. Life was very lonely.

One man was even more lonely than all the others. He was a foreigner, and the others didn’t like him much because he wasn’t like them.

But then… guess who came to town? Jesus! They were so excited because they heard Jesus could heal them!

The 10 men started jumping up and down and shouting, “Jesus! Master! Help us! Heal us! Jesus, help us!”

Ten men shouting is a lot of noise!

Jesus heard them, and He saw that they were very sick men. So Jesus said, “Go and show yourself to a priest.” That’s all He said.

Did you know?

(According to God’s Deal of Rules, you needed to show your skin to a priest and he would decide if your skin was all better again or not. But, these guys weren’t better yet. Their skin was still blistered and hurting.)

Do you think they should try to explain that to Jesus? (“But, Jesus, we still have owies. You’re getting this out of order, Jesus. FIRST, You have to heal us, then when we show the priest our skin he will see we are all healed and clean.”) No way!

These guys just obeyed Jesus and set off running... running… running down the road.

And as they ran… their leprosy disappeared!

They looked at their hands. No more owies! They looked at their feet! No more owies! They looked at each other’s faces! No more owies! They were all better!

“Hooray!!” they shouted, “We are healed!” “I can’t wait to see my family again!” “I can’t wait to sleep in a house!” “Yeah, people won’t be afraid of us any more!”

“What about Jesus?” The foreigner asked the others. “We never said thank you!”

Another one of the lepers answered, “Oh, we can do that later. We’ve gotta go find the priest and show him our skin is all clean so that he can tell everyone that we’re all better. We want to hurry so we can see our families again.”

But saying thank you “later” was not going to be soon enough for the foreigner. He turned around and started running back to Jesus, yelling over his shoulder, “But, Jesus did this. He made us clean! I’m going back to thank Him right now!!”

The foreigner was running as fast as he could. Do you remember all that noise the 10 men were making when they were asking Jesus to heal them? Well, that was nothing compared to the noise this one man was making now! As loudly as he could he was praising God and saying thank you and crying out how wonderful God is!

When he reached Jesus he dropped to Jesus’ feet, looked in Jesus’ eyes, and said one more big “Thaaaaank Youuuuu!”

Jesus then asked a very important question to the people around Him. Remember how we said the Jews didn’t like Samaritans or foreigners because they were different from them? Now Jesus asked them this question: “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine? Is this foreigner the only one who came back to say thank you?”

Think about it…

Could it be that Jesus was pointing out that they should not think they are better than others just because people are different. The foreigner was the ONLY one who said thank you. Who did the better thing? The one man who came back to say thank you or the nine who didn’t?

Then Jesus said to the one who came back to say thank you, “Stand up and go on your way. You were healed because you believed that I could heal you.”

Yippie! That grateful man wasn’t a leper any more!

The next time someone gives you a special gift, remember to not be so excited that you start only thinking about yourself. Remember to be grateful and to say thank you right away.