Naaman and Thankful Leper - I support Naaman not the thankful Leper


So here is what I see:

Naaman gives Elisha some grief. Naaman finally get some humility and obeys Elisha’s command. He returns to give thanks and praise to the one true God. 2 Kgs 5:14-17

Jesus tells ten lepers to show themselves to the priest. Immediately they hightail it to the priest in obedience to the command of Jesus. Then some wise guy leper gets all thankful and returns to Jesus to give thanks for his healing.

Naaman is obedient to the prophet of God.
The cleansed leper is disobedient and returns to God (Jesus) to give thanks.

Naaman get grief from the prophet of God and is still thankful and changes his heart to offer true sacrifice to the one true God.
The cleansed leper is disobedient to the command of God and gets praise from God.

Naaman does what he is told by the prophet of God. He is obedient. And does not get praised but chastened.
The nine other cleansed lepers act in obedience and continue on to the priest to show themselves.
Then you have this one lone wolf who returns because he get all thankful and forgets to act in obedience. And so what happens? He is made out to be the good guy. What?!!
I find these reading a bit confusing and disturbing. How am I supposed to be obedient when the one out of the nine+one are made out to be the louses.**


Perhaps the Samaritan leper realized that Jesus is the ultimate Priest, the ultimate Mediator between men and God, and thus he was obedient to Jesus’ command to show himself to the priests.


Oh, that is good. :bowdown:


The importance of the grateful leper is that salvation is more important than being cured of leprosy.



In both cases they were the “unclean” and unworthy an yet were healed and both proved to be the thankful ones.

Don’t you suppose that the Samaritan leper also showed himself to the priests in obedience…he just took the time to return to thank Our Lord…


In today’s reading, we had 10 lepers who approached Christ and asked him to have mercy on them. He told them to see the priests. Along the way there, they were all cleansed. One came back and praised God and Christ praised him - despite the fact he didn’t go see the priests as commanded.

Why did Christ condemn the obedient who went to see the priests and praise the disobedient one? This is confusing.


Church Militant,
No. The returning leper did not show himself to the priests in the written form. All ten were on the way to the priests.

14 And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed.** Luke 17:14**



true to faith,
that’s my point. in my original post, why were the obedient ones not praised and the disobedient one praised?


The man uses his heart. He was ordered to go to the priest, and then he was cleansed on the way. He knew that the High Priest had healed him, so he obeyed the command. He understood. He had eyes to see, and ears to hear. He saw what a great miracle had been worked, and he knew that only God would be able to do such a thing.

The other nine, even upon seeing the example of one of their own, were not thoughtful. It did not occur to they why they were cleansed, and Who they had just encountered. They had just seen the God-man, and been healed by His mercy, and yet they did not really understand.

This leper understood that he had just encountered the fire of the Lord’s mercy, and he went back to it. The nine men, who had also been healed, did not understand, because they were not thinking with their hearts. They were not being enlightened.


It is beyond me that some would consider it wrong to give thanks to Christ in the flesh for His healing grace.

The fact that the man returned to give thanks to the Lord doesn’t mean that he also didn’t present himself to the priests.


Please forgive me, but this question reminds me of the pharisees who condemn Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath.

It is a legalistic point of view in my opinion.

And it’s just my opinion, nothing more. :o


Hi, Bob!
…for one thing we do not really know that the other nine did obey Christ (sought a priest); however, the reason why Jesus commanded that they go to a priest was because it was the priests who would witness that the illness (leprosy, in this case) had vanished and that the person who had been removed from society could return to his/her village. The Samaritan was not a Jew so he would not even be welcomed by the priest.

Christ condemned the nine Israelites because in spite of all of them being cured of their leprosy none gave thanks and praise to God! On the other hand, the Samaritan could not contain his contentment as he retuned to Jesus and threw himself at His feet… but notice what he had been doing? He was praising God in a loud voice!

It could well be said that the Israelites thought that they merited being cleansed and that they only had themselves to thank for acquiring the cleansing!

Maran atha!



Merged 2 threads on same topic…


The point is that, even after they went to see the priests, the other nine did not come back to thank Jesus. Of course they probably were busy rejoicing or getting back to their families, and generally enjoying being part of the civilized world again. But they did not thank Jesus, all the same.


It is most likely that the Samaritan who had been cured from his leprosy would have gone to show himself to the priests after thanking Jesus. Lepers were outcasts and were not permitted to have any contact with others. They were obliged by law to remain outside of the towns and to call out to any passers-by approaching, “Unclean, unclean” as a warning to them. In Leviticus, we are told that the priests were the only ones able to proclaim a leper cured and to offer the required subsequent purifying sacrifices, which were necessary before the ex-lepers could be integrated back into society.

If we look at Jesus’ words, I think it becomes clear :

Luke 17: 17-18
Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"

There is nothing in Jesus’ words which would lead us to believe that any of the remaining nine *ever *came back to give thanks - even after showing themselves to the priests. God’s Word does not try to mislead us. If the other nine had returned at a later time to give thanks, in all likelihood , this same Gospel according to Luke would have mentioned it.

It’s also helpful to bear in mind that Jesus was traveling at the time he “met” the lepers. The lead-in to the Gospel account of Luke says that as Jesus

" continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. . . "

The Rituals on the cleansing of a leper from Leviticvus 14 took roughly 8 days to complete. Jesus would have probably left the village and continued on his journey way before that ritual was completed. It is possible that the samaritan wanted to thank Jesus while he still knew where Jesus was. . . while it was still possible to find him.


The irony here is both foreigners, Naman and the Samaritan, were grateful for the healing. On the other hand, the chosen people of God did not.

Naman’s initial reaction was very human – he was angry that the prophet did not see him; he resented being asked to bath in the muddy river Jordan, perhaps because he was a big shot, a general. And after he was healed, he tried to pay Elisha, perhaps like any rich man would do, so that he would not owe him any favor.

He was probably surprised that his offer of wealth was not accepted and maybe realized the difference then in Elisha. In any case, he was converted and worshiped the God of Israel. There are probably some cues we can get from that. Elisha’s uprightness must have impressed him despite his misgiving earlier on. The fact he was healed must have convinced him that Elisha’s God is a true God.

In the Gospel, the Samaritan gave thank while the rest probably acted like any selfish people who thought more about themselves. They went to the priest because he was the only one who could declare them cleaned and thus returned to the society instead of being outcasts. Having served their purpose, they forgot about returning to Jesus to thank him unlike the Samaritan.

They were perhaps only being healed physically while the Samaritan was both healed physically and spiritually.

We are called to acknowledge the Healer in order that our soul is truly healed.


[quote=atassina]No. The returning leper did not show himself to the priests in the written form. All ten were on the way to the priests.

Wait a minute, now…! There’s nothing in the text that says that he didn’t go to the priests!

Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς ἐκαθαρίσθησαν.
[Jesus said to them,] “Having gone, show yourselves to the priests.” And it came to pass [that] in going to them, they were cleansed.

εἷς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν, ἰδὼν ὅτι ἰάθη, ὑπέστρεψεν μετὰ φωνῆς μεγάλης δοξάζων τὸν θεόν,
[One] of them, moreover, having seen that he was healed, returned, with a loud voice glorifying God.

There’s nothing here that says that the Samaritan was disobedient! There’s nothing that says that he didn’t follow Jesus’ command!

Note that it doesn’t say that they realized that they had been healed while they were on the way – just that they were healed along the way. The assertion “having seen that he was healed” is reasonably expected to have happened in the priests’ presence! Moreover, that’s exactly how it worked: the person is declared no longer ‘unclean’ – that is, he’s declared healed – by the priest! Until the priest makes the declaration, he’s still outcast! So, the time when a person might realize he’s been healed is precisely following the priest’s declaration that he’s not unclean!

So, no: there’s no “disobedient Samaritan here” – just a healed man who returns to give thanks.


THIS ABOVE :thumbsup:


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