In Luke 17:11–19 we find Christ healing ten lepers. Leprosy was a fairly common disease during the time of Christ, and lepers were always considered unclean and separated from the rest of society. To be cleansed of the disease meant a huge change in lifestyle over and above being free of the disease. The lepers went their way rejoicing, but only one turned back to express his gratitude to the Savior. The Bible says,
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. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole (v. 14-19).
Note that all were cleansed, but only one was made whole. His was a healing inside and out. The Lord has said,
And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more (Doctrine and Covenants 78:19).
In Luke 18:35–43 Jesus makes a blind man whole. The man, a beggar in Jericho, heard Jesus, His disciples, and a crowd of followers passing by, and he enquired as to the cause of the commotion. People attempted to keep him back from bothering the Savior, but he pressed forward and cried out to Jesus to restore his sight. Jesus did so, telling the man his faith had healed him. Instantly, the man became a follower, and joined the disciples praising the Lord.
And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God (v. 43).
In Luke 19:1–10 we read about Jesus’ visit to the home of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a short man and a publican (tax collector for the Romans) who climbed a tree to get Jesus’ attention as the Lord and His disciples passed by. It delighted the Savior to see Zacchaeus go to so much effort to get His attention. The Jewish sages thoroughly disapproved of Jesus’ association with “publicans and sinners.” But Jesus’ calling was to heal; He was called to those who sought wholeness, not those so prideful they thought they needed no help.
In John 5 we see Christ healing the lame man on the Sabbath day, thus risking the wrath of the Pharisees.
And in John 9, healing a man blind from his birth:
In John 11:1–54 is found the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. In the beginning of His ministry, Christ was quiet in His performance of miracles, which became more profound and more open as the time of His crucifixion approached. Most of the time, He taught and ministered in Galilee. It was Jerusalem, the home of the wicked Jewish leaders, that was so dangerous for Him. But from the time of the fall holidays before His death in the spring, He taught and performed miracles in and around Jerusalem, departing for Epraim after raising Lazarus from the dead, then returning for the Passover and His betrayal.
Bethany, where Lazarus, Mary and Martha lived, was a short distance southeast of Jerusalem. The family was close to Jesus, but when the Savior heard that Lazarus was seriously ill, He did not go directly to Bethany. He seemed to delay on purpose. In cryptic speech, He explained to His apostles that the death of Lazarus would lead to a faith promoting miracle.
And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for days. Jewish tradition held that the spirit lingered near the body for 3 days, but it had been four. By now the body would stink. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it was the unmistakable miracle that could not be explained away by an unbelieving populace. It really could be that Jesus was who He said He was, the Son of God. Surely, those who wanted to be rid of Him now saw that they needed to work quickly. The dangers of Jerusalem and the possibility of martyrdom were palpable to the apostles, who responded to Jesus,
Let us also go, that we may die with him.
When He arrived in Bethany, Jesus prepared Mary and Martha for the miraculous event He intended to carry out:
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world (vs. 23-27).
Those who were “sitting sheva” — sitting and mourning with the family for seven days — followed Mary out to the tomb, wondering why Jesus had not intervened and prevented the death of one whom He surely loved. At the tomb, with the crowd standing about,
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (vs. 39-40).
It is important to note here that Jesus did only the will of the Father who sent Him. Before these events He prayed to see if such a miracle was right and proper to perform. He was ever the humble servant of His Father:
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. (vs. 41, 42).
Many of the Jews present believed then in Jesus, but others went straight to the Pharisees, who then plotted Jesus’ death. Said Caiaphas,
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not (v 50).
Interestingly, this sentiment is repeated by the Lord in the Book of Mormon. The prophet Lehi was commanded to take his family and flee from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. His sons were commanded then to go back and fetch a scriptural record that also contained the Josephite lineage of Lehi’s family. These records were in the possession of Laban, who had three opportunities to give these records to Nephi and his brothers. He refused to sell them, but attempted to rob, and even to kill the brothers. The Lord delivered Laban into Nephi’s hands and commanded him to slay Laban. Nephi couldn’t do it. He had never committed such an act and was loath to do so now, but the Lord said to him:
Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief (1 Nephi 4:13).
The truth of this statement was manifest in the Americas, where the Nephites were the only group to have brought records with them (the Jaredites preceded them by many years, the Mulekites brought no records from Jerusalem, and the Lamanites separated themselves from the Nephites, taking no records.) All of these nations lost their language, and dwindled in unbelief over the years.
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