“As they went, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:14)
Jesus had encountered ten men who had leprosy, they had pleaded for healing for their hopeless condition. They had likely heard of the many times Jesus had touched someone in need and been instantly healed. No doubt they anticipated the same. But what did Jesus do?
“When He saw then, He said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests’” (v. 14). But where was the healing touch? Where was the skin, once diseased and white, now fresh and pink? “Go show ourselves to the priest – but we’re no different than before!” Perhaps it was the authority in Jesus’ voice, but off they went to obey His prescription.
And our key verse says, “As they went, they were cleaned.” Jesus spoke, they obeyed and the miracle came. After the step of improbable obedience. After taking Jesus at His word and walking toward the temple and the priests. They could have questioned Him, “But you haven’t healed us – why should we go to the priests unless you do something first?” They acted on faith.
When the Centurion came to Jesus on behalf of his ailing servant, he told the Lord, “Just say the word and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8). Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” (v. 10). When a royal official begged Jesus to come and heal his son who was near death, Jesus told him, “You may go. Your son will live.” the man “took Jesus at His word and departed.” (John 4:50). On his way home a servant told him that his son was better. At his inquiry, he learned that the boy’s fever broke at the same time Jesus told him that he would live. The waters of the river parted “as soon as the priests set foot in the Jordan” (Joshua 13). They had to touch their toes to the water before the miracle came. But it came. And the people crossed over on dry ground.
God is still working in the world. He is still performing miracles. But He is looking for people with the faith to expect them. He is looking for people who will take Him at His word, who will go with confidence that He who promised is faithful. He is looking for those who will step into the flooding river. Now I realize we don’t have the physical Jesus standing before us, telling us “Go in faith,” but we have His Word in written form, and it carries the same authority as the words He spoke on earth. It is full of promises we can claim and commands we are to obey. Because obedience is the evidence of our faith – especially when the situation looks nothing like the miracle. In fact, the Greek word for faith – pistis – means “to trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow.” Faith isn’t just a head thing – it’s a hands and feet thing. It’s going when you don’t know the way. It’s stepping out when you can’t see beyond your toes. It’s taking God at His word with no reservation or hesitation.
Is God worthy of your trust? Absolutely. Is He faithful? Completely. Does He love you? Eternally. What else do you need? Step out Beloved, the miracle will come.