This story is short, but here are a couple things to note.
Jesus entered a town on the border of Galilee and Samaria. Remind the children about the origin of Samaria - it was the area of the Northern Kingdom of Israel after the kingdoms divided after Solomon. The Northern Kingdom was taken over by the Assyrians, and the Israelites in those 10 tribes intermarried with the Assyrians and ceased to exist as a separate nation. The Samaritans were hated by those in the Southern Kingdom (Judah).
The people Jesus healed were lepers. Leprosy was a terrible disease that was incurable during Jesus' time. Leprosy causes the skin to become scaly and white, it causes infections, and many times fingers, toes, and limbs became deformed. Lepers were considered outcasts. First, many were afraid of getting the disease from coming in contact with the disease. Also, they were considered ceremonially unclean and would not be allowed to enter the temple.
It is important to note that the men were not healed until they were on their way to show themselves to the priests. They would only show themselves to the priests to prove to them that they were healed, and thus ceremonially clean and allowed back into the Temple area. It took faith for them to begin walking to show themselves to the priests while they were still sick.
There were 10 men Jesus healed, but the only one that came back to thank Jesus was a Samaritan. Jesus emphasizes this and he commends the man for his faith. It didn't matter to Jesus that he was a foreigner or a Samaritan. He was interested in the man's faith.
Have you ever had to stay home from school because you were sick?
Today, we are going to learn about 10 men who were sick and couldn't be around others because they were afraid of getting their disease.
(Consider using the "Baby Powder Leprosy" Reinforcement Activity now as a part of the lesson)
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Luke 17:11-19
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?