In Luke 17, Jesus enters into a town where he encounters ten lepers. As lepers, these men where social outcasts. They were forbidden to go to the temple to worship and people would avoid them at all costs.
Yet they have heard of the reputation of Jesus the healer and they have a choice. Do they believe Jesus can heal, and do they believe he would heal them? It can be easier to believe Jesus acts in the lives of other people and harder to be believe that he will act on our lives.
These men dare to believe that Jesus might heal them, so they cry out, ‘Master, have pity on us’.
At this point we might expect Jesus to act. To declare them clean, as the crowd watches their skin miraculously restored. Yet he chooses to respond differently. He told the ten lepers to go and show themselves to the priests.
Priests served as the unofficial health department, and they would verify if someone was clean or not. It is likely the lepers had doubts. Would they arrive and be told what they already knew? They were lepers and unclean.
Yet, in spite of their doubts, they walk in the direction which Jesus tells them to go. As they journey, Luke simply says “as they were going, they were cleansed.”
Somewhere along the way, God transformed them.
It’s a great story, and yet it’s not an isolated incident in the Bible. Time and again God intervenes and demonstrates His power as people walk with Him in the direction He calls them.
He is more than willing to intervene in the difficulties and challenges that we face, provided that we first demonstrate faith by walking in the way in obedience.
We want God to act and then we believe, but more often than not He wants us to obey, to walk in the direction He calls, and as we go see what He can do in and through us.