What Happened to the rest of them?

Ten Lepers
© Henry Martin

What happened to the rest of them? 
Based on the story of the Ten Lepers in the Bible in Luke 17:11 - 19
All art is © Henry Martin.
Free use for ministry purposes. Not to be used for publication or profit.

by Steve Harris

Numbers, they are everywhere! Interestingly, the Bible is full of them, 40 days and 40 nights, 12 tribes and 12 disciples, to think of just a few. I don’t know what you think of numbers but some people seem to be really good at them. If it is adding up, division, taking away or multiplication they never seem to have a problem.

Jesus wasn’t really that interested in numbers, he was someone more interested in people but even so there are load of numbers in the stories of Jesus. The feeding of the 5,000, 5 loaves and 2 fish, the parables with 100 sheep etc. - numbers are everywhere.

Jesus as you may know had 12 disciples who travelled with him for about 3 years and saw with their own 2 eyes, or should I say 24 eyes (12X2), all the things that Jesus did, and their 24 ears listened to all that he said. You get the idea!

Well one day Jesus was off on his way to Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, with his disciples on another trip when they happened to come across 10 men. To Jesus’ 12 disciples this was a small crowd but they were pretty scared. It wasn’t that they wanted to hurt Jesus and the disciples, they didn’t have any weapons; in fact every single one of them was very sick.

Ten LepersThis was the problem, the 10 men coming towards the 12 disciples and Jesus all had a sickness or disease, and it was called leprosy. You may not have heard of it, but in Jesus’ time everyone was scared stiff of catching it. The problem was, no one really knew how you got the disease and they certainly didn’t know how to make you better once you had it.

It was, and still is in some countries, a really nasty disease, I won’t go into to many details in case you have your tea after you read this story but it had a habit of making bits of your body drop off – fingers, toes – you get the picture it was and is really nasty. Fortunately today they do have medicines to at least stop the disease doing more damage if you catch it, and actually even countries where it does happen it is pretty hard to catch it!

The problem was the 12 didn’t know any of that, so they were scared to let these 10 men come anywhere near them. The 10 men stood at a distance and shouted out “Jesus, Master help us!”

The 12 glad they were at a distance but there was 1 person who didn’t seem scared at all it was Jesus! I can imagine Jesus just walking up to the ten and not only talking to them but also touching them.

They were looking for Jesus because they had heard about the amazing miracles and they wanted to see if Jesus could make all of them well again.

Jesus told them to go and see the local priest, who was kind of like the doctor in cases like this! As they went on their way something amazing happened, their leprosy got better! By the time the priest got to see them which could only have been a matter of hours at the most, the leprosy was gone! Amazing!

Ten Lepers 2You can imagine how excited the 10 were, you see, when you had leprosy you had to leave your family, your friends, your job and live where no one else could catch the dreaded disease. Now they were free to go back home and begin their lives again.

Amazingly leprosy in the Bible similar to what the bible calls sin. In the same way as leprosy separated people from family and friends, so sin separates us from God’s plan for our lives. In the same way as Jesus could heal leprosy, he came to deal with the big problem of sin and he did that through his death on the cross at Easter time.

Any way back to story, 10 very happy men left the priest that day but you know what, as 9 of them set off to begin their new lives there was one standing thinking, ‘I’ve got to find Jesus’

Ten Lepers 3He ran as fast as he could back the way he had come, praising God at the top of his voice, and sure enough he soon caught up with Jesus and the 12 disciples. Jesus was a bit surprised to see him, but he was even more surprised that he was by himself. The man, who probably had the longest journey back to his family and friend because he came from another area called Samaria, had made the effort to come and say thank you. He fell at Jesus’ feet.

Jesus looked around, perhaps thinking he was just the fastest runner and the others would soon catch up. Then he looked down at the 1 who come back to say thank you. “Hang on a minute,” Jesus said. “Weren’t there 10 of you, what happened to the other nine. You’re not even from these parts and you have made the effort to come back to me and say thank you.”

Jesus picked the man up and said, with a big smile on his face “Get up, your faith has made you well.”

All 10 lepers were healed so it’s strange that only one came back. I wonder what Jesus meant by “your faith has made you well”. I don’t know, but I like to think that not only had the leprosy gone away, but if the leprosy had caused any fingers, or toes or other bit of his body to fall off he would have looked down and found that God had given him new ones! Who knows?


Some questions to think about:

Is there anyone you know who is ill who you could pray for and be kind to this week?
How did you feel when you were perhaps ill and didn’t know what to do?
Have you asked Jesus to sort out your “problem” of sin? 

The Story of Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus Up a Tree
(illustration - a Sycamore tree...maybe)

(Luke 19.1-10)There are two things...

...you should know about Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus was a little man.

And Zacchaeus was a rich man.

And nobody liked him very much.

Okay, that’s three things.

Nobody liked Zacchaeus very much mostly because he got rich taking money from other people and giving it to the Romans.

Nobody liked the Romans much either. That was because they came in from another country like a bunch of big bullies. They came with all their soldiers and swords and spears and stuff and made people do things they didn’t want to do, like give them money. 

That's what Zacchaeus did. He collected money for the Romans. They called it "collecting taxes." Some of the money he gave to the Romans - but lots of it he kept for himself. And that’s how he got rich.

Zacchaeus was a very rich man...

And Zacchaeus was a little man... without a lot of friends.

(illustration - a very little Zacchaeus!)

Zacchaeus lived in a town called Jericho a long time ago. You might remember Jericho, if you heard the story about the walls that came tumbling down when the trumpets blew. But that was way before Zacchaeus’s time.

(ilustration - a little tree)

One bright, sunny day, Zacchaeus looked down the dirt road that came into Jericho and he saw a crowd of people coming his way.

Back then, everybody was taking about a guy named Jesus. Everywhere Jesus went, people who were sick got better, people who couldn’t walk could walk again, people who were blind could see again. Jesus was a pretty amazing guy! And everybody wanted to see just who this Jesus guy was. Including Zacchaeus.

The only trouble was, everywhere Jesus went there were always crowds of people all around him - and remember, Zacchaeus was a little man. He knew that he’d never be able see over a great crowd of people.

Zacchaeus ran up to the edge of the crowd and stood on his tiptoes to see what the big deal was.

But all he could see were the backs of people’s heads.

He tried jumping up and down. He bounced from one side and then to the other. But still he couldn’t see.

But then, on one lucky bounce, he saw the man at the center of the crowd. It was Jesus! 

Zacchaeus tried to push his way through the crowd, but everyone wanted to see Jesus, and they wouldn’t let him through.

What could he do? He wanted to see Jesus too!

Then Zacchaeus turned around and saw a sycamore tree growing right beside the road Jesus was walking along.

Zacchaeus had an idea!

He ran on ahead and climbed up the Sycamore tree. He didn’t care if he looked silly or not. He wanted to see Jesus!

Sure enough, Jesus stopped right under the sycamore tree. He looked up, and there was Zacchaeus peeking through the branches.

(illustration - Zacchaeus up a tree!)

“Zacchaeus!” Jesus said to him, “Hurry down from there!

“I must stay at your house today!”

“How does he know my name??!” Zacchaeus thought to himself. “But he does! He knows my name! And he wants to come and stay at MY house!”

Zacchaeus flew down that tree quicker than you could say “Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus sitting in a tree.”

When his feet hit the ground, he was so happy he nearly did a little dance! But that’s just what Jesus does to people. Jesus laughed and slapped his arm around Zacchaeus’s shoulder, and together they started off towards Zacchaeus’s house.

But the people in the crowd were not so happy.

They had spent all day in the hot sun following Jesus, and now he was going to stay at the house of Zacchaeus, a rich, cheating tax collector. They began to grumble about Zacchaeus...

“This man is a sinner!” one woman said.

“He cheats and steals from his own people!” said an old man.

“He isn’t good enough for Jesus to come and stay at his house!”

Zacchaeus heard what the people were saying about him, and he must have known that they were right. So he said, “Listen! I will give half of everything I have to the poor! And if I cheated anyone, I will pay them back four times as much!”

Jesus was going to be a guest at his house. And what do you do when you are expecting company? You clean things up!

That’s just what Zacchaeus did. Only he cleaned himself up on the inside first. Zacchaeus wanted to make things right for Jesus. He was so happy that Jesus wanted to come to his house, he wanted to make Jesus happy too.

And Jesus WAS happy!

Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house!

“Your life was all wrong, but now it is all right. You were lost, but now you have been saved!

“That why I am here. I came to find and save the lost!”

Zacchaeus was a little man, but now he felt ten feet tall!

(ilustration - a little tree)

And you know what?

Jesus knows you too! Jesus knows you by name, just like he knew Zacchaeus.

He wants to come and tell you how much he loves you.

He wants to tell you the good news of his home in heaven. He wants to laugh with you and cry with you, and be with you no matter what.

But Jesus can’t exactly walk up to your front door and ring the bell. It would take a LONG time for Jesus to walk up to every house in the world! You’d be all old and wrinkly by the time he finally got to yours... and he wouldn’t be able to stay very long. There are a LOT of houses in the world to get to!

Back when Jesus stayed at Zacchaeus’s house, all the other people grumbled because each one of them wanted Jesus to stay at THEIR house. But when Jesus was on earth, he just couldn’t stay at every house every night.

That’s why Jesus went to heaven. Jesus went to heaven so he could send his Spirit to live with each of us - all at the same time!

Of course, you can’t see his Spirit.

But you can’t see love either. You can’t hear it or smell it or touch it. But you know when love is there. That’s how it is with Jesus. When Jesus comes to you, you can’t see him, or hear him, or touch him. But you know that he is there.

Jesus wants to come to your house today!


freely translated by
Paul Dallgas-Frey
All pictures and story © Paul Dallgas-Frey

Jesus Walks on Water

(Illustration - the disciples in a storm.... sort of)


Walking On Water


Matt 14.22-33, Mark 6.45-52, John 6.15-21


(illustration - little mountains)
Jesus just did an amazing thing.
On a rocky hillside, he took two smelly fish and five crusty loaves of bread and fed over five thousand people. 

“WOW!” The disciples must have thought, “We should open a restaurant!”

Well, maybe they didn’t think the restaurant part - but they were amazed by the miracle they just saw Jesus do.

The crowd was still buzzing about the whole thing when Jesus took Peter by the arm and said, “You guys go on ahead to the other side of the lake. I’ll catch up with you later.”

Okay, we don’t really know what Jesus said exactly. For one thing, he was speaking in Aramaic and not English. And chances are pretty good he didn’t call the disciples ‘you guys.’ But we do know that Jesus told the disciples to get in their boat and go across the lake. He needed some time to be alone.

Well, imagine if you had crowds of people following you around everywhere you went, always wanting something from you. You’d want to get away to be alone sometimes too! But what Jesus really needed was time to pray. We all do!

So Jesus blessed the people and sent them on their way home. And he sent them away full - not just with a good meal, but with the word of God. They all left knowing a little better just how much God loved them. So Jesus watched the last few stragglers pick their way through the rocks, and then he turned and climbed up the mountain a ways.

When night came, Jesus was still there praying, alone on the mountainside. Of course, he wasn’t really alone. He was with his Father. No one is ever really alone. God is always with us.

(illustration - dark mountains)

Meanwhile, the disciples were on the lake below, trying to row across it.

It was very dark now, and a strong wind was blowing right in their faces. Well, right in the faces of the lucky ones who weren’t trying to row against it. Those poor guys had their backs to the wind and were rowing against it with all their might - and hardly getting anywhere!

“This is just great!” they were probably grumbling to each other as sprays of water splashed in their faces and the waves tossed their little boat every which way - except the way they wanted to go! “Jesus sends us out across the lake with this blasted wind doing its best to blow us back! Couldn’t he do something about that?!” (We like to grumble whenever things get hard, don’t we.)

But Jesus could see that they were in trouble.

The wind was howling, the sea was still tossing their boat this way and that, when one of the disciples happened to look out into the night.


There was a man walking on the water!!! 

In the dark of the night they saw a man coming towards them on the water - his hair was blowing wildly, his robe was being whipped by the wind like a flag in a windstorm.

They were terrified!

...well, wouldn’t YOU be?!

“IT’S A GHOST!!” they screamed.

But just then, they heard a voice say, “Take courage! Don’t be afraid. It is me!”

It was Jesus!

“Lord, is it really you?” Peter said, holding his hand over his eyes to block the spray of the splashing waves.

“If it really IS you, tell me to come out to you on the water!”

Peter was a brave man! Or he was crazy!

Jesus said, “Come.”

Peter stuck one leg out over the side of the boat and set his foot on the water. It didn’t sink in!

He stepped out with his other foot, and it didn’t sink. He stood up. He was standing on the water! He took one step, and then another, and then another. He was walking on the water, just like Jesus!

Peter was walking on the water!

He might have even been thinking to himself, “Hey! Look at me. I am walking on the water! Aren’t I great!”

But wait a minute. People can’t walk on water. And then Peter started to look around him. All of a sudden, the boat seemed awfully small and far away. There was nothing but black, churning water all around him. The waves were lapping at his feet, water was stinging his eyes.

And then, just like that, the water under his feet let go.

“Help me, Lord!” Peter gulpped, splashing wildly as the cold water swallowed him down. “Save me!”

But before the water could gulp Peter down entirely, Jesus reached down with his strong hand (he WAS a carpenter after all) and grabbed him by the arm.

“Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

And with that, Jesus pulled Peter up out of the water and carried him, dripping wet, back to the boat.

Just as they were climbing over the side of the boat, the wind died away and the sea turned smooth as glass. Everything was suddenly peaceful and quiet.

One minute the wind was roaring and the sea was crashing, the next all was peaceful and calm. Some of the disciples must have remembered just then the Psalm they learned in Hebrew school - 

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed.”
(That was from Psalm 107, in case you haven’t been to Hebrew school yet.)

Those disciples knew that only God has the power to calm the wind and the waves - and that’s just what Jesus did.

“Truly you ARE the Son of God!” they said to Jesus in awe and wonder. And they bowed down and worshipped him right then and there.

Now, we don’t know for sure, but maybe Peter sat there shivering in the back of the boat with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, thinking about all that had just happened. And maybe he was hearing over and over in his head the words Jesus had calmy said, ‘Why did you doubt?’

‘Oh, you of little faith. Why did you doubt?’

Why DID Peter doubt?

Just the day before he saw Jesus turn two fish and five loaves of bread into enough to feed five thousand people. And now he saw Jesus walking on the water. Jesus said it was okay, so he stepped out onto the water. He trusted Jesus.

He stepped out of the boat because Jesus had called him, and his faith held him up.

But then he saw the darkness all around him, he felt the the wind stinging his face, he saw the swirling black water beneath him... and he doubted. He took his eyes off Jesus and he became afraid.

He forgot about Jesus.

And he sank.

And it may be that Peter learned a lesson that night that he never forgot. When trouble is all around - keep your eyes on Jesus. He will never let you sink.“O Lord, Almighty God, who is there as strong as you? Who is there more faithful? For you rule the raging sea, you have the power to still the pounding waves.”The Lord is King! Our God reigns! He wears his majesty like a robe, he wraps himself in strength. By his power he created the world, and it will never be moved. The waters rise and the sea roars, but greater is the might of the Lord!”“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28.20“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, 

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. 
What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13.5-6


All pictures and story © Paul Dallgas-Frey


Andrews Diary

Andrew's Diary - a day in the life of a disciple

A story by Liz Hinds - From Swansea, Wales

Tuesday Sep 18th 0033

Dear diary

Its 7 o’clock in the morning, I’ve just come in and I’m shattered, but I’ve got to write this down before I forget. Not that I could forget something like this. 

But then something like this happens everyday now. I just want to get it straight in my head so one day I can tell my children and my grandchildren just what it was like to be a disciple of Jesus’s. Not that I’ve got any children yet. I’m not even married. 

I’d only just started working with my brother Peter when Jesus called us. Did I write about that before? I can’t remember; I didn’t start keeping this diary until a short while ago. That was when I realised I was involved with something really special, with someone out of the ordinary. 

See, Peter and me were fishermen until Jesus called us. We were mending our nets on the shore one day – you’ve got to keep mending your nets when you’re a fisherman because they get caught on rocks or rubbish get mixed up in them and they get torn. And if we didn’t mend them we wouldn’t catch any fish; they’d all swim in and straight out again. Mending nets is better than washing them though because nets are mostly holes.  Anyway we were mending them when Jesus says to us, ‘come and follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.’

I thought he was having a laugh, making a joke, but Pete just put down his net and walked off with him. Well I didn’t want to miss out – or be left with all the work to do – so I ran after them. And I’ve been following Jesus round the country ever since. And do you know: I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Every day is different with Jesus. He heals people most days, even people who’re really sick or DEAD even. And he tells us stories, stories with deep meanings – so deep the others have to explain them to me - and he argues with the Pharisees – I’ve never heard anyone argue with a Pharisee before. And he does these miracles all the time, like they’re nothing special.

Yesterday he was talking to a huge crowd of people and they’d been there all day and were getting hungry so he only goes and feeds them all. There must have been 5000 blokes plus women, plus children….  Loads of people.  All Jesus had to feed them with was 5 loaves and 2 fishes. But he did it. No problem.

But that wasn’t what I wanted to write about just now. After they’d been fed, Jesus sent the people home and he told us, his disciples, to get in the boat and sail across the bay. He went off up into the hills to pray. He can pray that Jesus: he thinks nothing of praying all night. He says he’s just talking to his father and it’s easy. So that’s what he did last night.

Meanwhile we were out in the boat, right in the middle of the sea, and it was dark and it was windy and cold and the sea was getting rough, and we weren’t really sure what Jesus had planned and when he was going to join us and to be honest we were a bit fed up. I was just dropping off to sleep even though it wasn’t easy to sleep when the boat was rocking so much, when all of a sudden Pete shouts out, ‘look!’

We all sat up and peered into the darkness. ‘What?’ ‘What is it?’ I couldn’t see anything at first then I suddenly saw what Pete was pointing at. ‘It’s a g g g g g ghost!’ I screamed. It was coming towards us floating on the water. ‘Quick, put up the sails,’ Pete shouted, ‘we’ve got to get away.’ We were all falling over each other we were so desperate to get the sails up and get away from the ghost. And we were shouting at each other so much we didn’t hear him at first. But then someone said, ‘Wait, listen!’

We all stopped and then we could hear Jesus’s voice, ‘It’s me!’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’

We all edged close to the side of the boat and peered out at the ghost. As he got closer we could see he was smiling: it was Jesus!

But Peter had had such a shock that he still didn’t believe it, so he shouted out to the figure, ‘If it’s you, Lord, tell me to come to you.’

‘Come,’ Jesus said, just like that, and he held out his hand towards Peter. Peter grinned, jumped out of the boat and started walking on water! Actually walking on water like Jesus. Wow, we were amazed. We all just stood there gob smacked, and watched.
I couldn’t see his face because he was facing Jesus but suddenly he started waving his arms in the air, shouting and sinking into the water. ‘Peter!’ I yelled but it was all right because Jesus was there. He stretched out his hand and caught Peter’s and pulled him up out of the water. Jesus put his arm round Peter’s waist and I could see Jesus shaking his head as if to say, ‘oh Peter, where’s your faith, man.’ But he was smiling and Peter must have felt safe because he began to smile too and they both walked on the water back to the boat.

The wind didn’t seem so bad after that or the sea so rough so we all got some sleep until it was light enough to bring the boat back to the shore. It’s been one fantastic night.

We are on dry land now.  Lots of people are bringing their sick family and friends for Jesus to heal them. Another amazing day following Jesus is about to begin.  I’ll write it all later.

Signed Andrew