And when he saw them, he said to them, Go show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Go shew yourselves unto the priests.—On the meaning and object of this command, see Note on Matthew 8:4. Here, however, it may be noted, there was no accompanying touch as the outward means and pledge of healing, and the command was therefore, in a greater degree than it had been before, a trial and test of faith. It did not necessarily imply a journey to Jerusalem. Any priest in any town was qualified for the function of inspecting and deciding on the completeness of the cure. Suddenly, or by degrees, as they went, the taint of blood disappeared, and their flesh became as it had been in the days of health.Matthew 8:4. By this command he gave them an implied assurance that they would be healed; for the "design" for which they were to go was to exhibit the "evidence" that they were restored, and to obtain permission from the priest to mingle again in society. It may also be observed that this required no small measure of "faith" on their part, for he did not "first" heal them, and then tell them to go; he told them to go without "expressly" assuring them that they would be healed, and without, "as yet," any evidence to show to the priest. So sinners defiled with the leprosy of sin, should put faith in the Lord Jesus and obey his commands, with the fullest confidence that he is able to heal them, and that he "will" do it if they follow his directions; and that in due time they shall have the fullest evidence that their peace is made with God, and that their souls shall by him be declared free from the defilement of sin.
as they went, were cleansed—In how many different ways were our Lord's cures wrought, and this different from all the rest.Leviticus 14:2, that the leper in the day of his cleansing should be brought unto the priest, who was to judge whether he was healed, yea or no, and to offer the offering there prescribed. Christ sends them to the priests, partly that he might observe the law which his Father had given in the case, partly that he might have a testimony of this his miraculous operation. We shall observe that our Saviour cured some being at a distance from them, some by the word of his power only, though he were present in the same place, others by touching of them; he certainly chose thus to vary his circumstances, in actions of this nature, to let people know that the healing virtue was inherent in him, and that the proceeding of it from him was not tied to any ceremony used at the doing of the work, which he used or omitted according to his pleasure.
go show yourselves unto the priests. The Ethiopic version reads in the singular number, "to the priest", as in Matthew 8:4 whose business it was to inspect into this matter, to see whether a person was healed, or not; and if he was to, pronounce him clean, when a gift was offered according to the law, in Leviticus 14:2. So careful was Christ that the ceremonial law, which was as yet in force, might be strictly observed: though these ten lepers could not be viewed and examined by the priest together, but one after another; for so is the tradition of the Jews (a),
"two leprosies are not looked upon together, whether they be in one man, or in two men; but he views one, and either shuts him up, or declares or dismisses him, and then goes to a second:''
And it came to pass that as they went, they were cleansed; before they came to the priests, whilst they were in the way, they at once found themselves entirely healed of their disease; as Christ very likely gave them reason to believe they should; whereby his power was seen in it; and it was a clear case, that it was owing to him, and not the priests, that they had their cleansing. On the nature of the disease of leprosy, and of the likeness there is between that and sin, and of the agreement between the cleansing of a leper, and the cleansing of a sinner by the blood of Christ; see Gill on Luke 5:12. Here it may be observed, that as these lepers had a cure while they were in the way of their duty, going, as Christ ordered them; so generally speaking, it is in the way of means, in an attendance on ordinances, that souls receive a spiritual cure from Christ: the man at Bethesda's pool waited long, and had healing at last; it is good to watch at Wisdom's gates, and wait at the posts of her door; faith in Christ, whereby the heart is purified, comes by hearing the word of God.And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 17:14. ἐπιδείξατε ἑ.: the same direction as in the first leper narrative, but without reason annexed.—ἱερεῦσι: plural, either to the priests of their respective nationalities (Kuinoel, J. Weiss, etc.) or to the priests of the respective districts to which they belonged (Hahn).—ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν, etc., on the way to the priests they were healed. Did they show themselves to the priests? That does not appear. The story is defective at this point (“negligently told,” Schleier.), either because the narrator did not know or because he took no interest in that aspect of the case. The priests might not be far off.14. when he saw them] Jesus always listened instantly to the appeal of the leper, whose disease was the type of that worse moral leprosy which He specially came to cleanse.See on Luke 5:13.
he said] Apparently he called out this answer to them while they were still at the required legal distance of 100 paces.
unto the priests] See on Luke 5:14.
18. There are not found] Ingratitude is one of the most universal and deeply seated of human vices, and our Lord was perfectly familiar with it. But in this instance He was moved by the depth of this thanklessness in so many recipients of so blessed a favour. Hence His sorrowful amazement. He felt as if all His benefits “were falling into a deep silent grave.”
“Blow, blow, thou winter wind;
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude.”
save this stranger] Rather, alien, 2 Kings 17:24. See on Luke 10:33. Josephus says that the Samaritans eagerly called themselves ἀλλοεθνεῖς when they wanted to disclaim a consanguinity which might be perilous (Antt. IX. 14, § 3, XI. 8, § 6): but it is almost impossible to suppose that Samaria was swept clean of every inhabitant, and the ethnographical and other affinities of the Samaritans to the Jews seem to shew some mixture of blood, which they themselves claimed at other times (Jos. Antt. xi. 8, § 6; John 4:12).Luke 17:14. Ἱερεῦσι, unto the priests) To more than one priest, because there were more than one leper. This would have to take place at Jerusalem, a long journey. It is thus that the Samaritan is brought over to the faith of Israel. [For which reason he is said in Luke 17:15 to have returned, ὑπέστρεψεν.—V. g.] By this command the previous healing is by implication indicated.
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