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The thankful Lepar is today’s Bible hero because he showed us gratitude.
Essential Teachers notes:
Thankfulness is a often a cultural thing, some children are brought up in environments where being thankful is a mark of politeness, others may rarely hear people express thanks and it may be seen as a chore to do so.
Main Passage: Luke 17
Today we don’t know the name of our hero, we know he was a man and that he lived just outside a village. Would you like to give him a name? (use this name replacing the N throughout the story)
N had a disease, it’s a disease that people still suffer from today. It’s called leprosy. The disease affects peoples skin, they get red patches on their skin and it makes it hard to feel things. Sometimes they can lose all feeling in an arm or a leg. It’s not a very nice thing to look at.
People in Jesus time were afraid of leprosy, they wouldn’t let people with the disease live in the village, town or city, they couldn’t live with their families. They had to set up a camp a distance away from everybody else, friends and family may leave food for them but nobody would go near them, they were too afraid of catching leprosy.
N and his friends had heard about a man called Jesus. People said Jesus could cure any disease. N and his friends wanted to be healed, but they were afraid of going to find Jesus. Jesus was always with lots of people and they had to keep their distance from people.
One day they heard that Jesus was on the road coming towards their village. N called his friends and went to stand as near to the road as they could, then they started to shout to Jesus. 10 men, all with leprosy, 10 men shouting as loud as they could, hoping Jesus would hear them.
Jesus did hear them. He turned round and looked at where they were standing. N even saw him smile. Jesus shouted back “Go show yourselves to the priests!” The men looked at each other, their skin was clear and clean. The priests would say they had been healed, they could go back to the families. They all started to laugh and cry and dance with joy. They ran into the village to find the priest.
N stood nervously waiting for the priest to make a decision. The priest was confused and surprised but eventually he told all 10 men that they were well and they could go back to their families. Everyone ran to find their relatives. Then N remembered Jesus, he had forgotten to say thank you. N stopped running towards his old house and turned and ran towards the main road. Soon he could see Jesus and his followers.
N ran up to Jesus and fell to his knees. “Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you.” Jesus looked at him puzzled, “where are the other men?” he asked “were there not 10 of you?” N didn’t know what to say. “Look at this man,” said Jesus “he alone has returned, has praised God, his faith has made him well, get up now, go home” N went home, his friends were all celebrating that night, but only N had met the man who had healed them, N knew that it had been important to say thank you, even though he didn’t need to.
The thankful leper is today’s bible hero because he showed us gratitude (to be thankful).