Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem on the boarder between Samaria and Galilee. Ten men with leprosy came to meet him as he entered a village. “They stood at a distance and called out on a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” As Jesus saw them, he said “Go, show yourself to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed. came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise except for this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)
Jesus meets ten lepers one day as he crosses the boarder of Samaria and Galilee. Leprosy in that day included a variety of skin diseases. In Leviticus 13:45,46 tells us, “Those who suffer from serious skin diseases, must tear their clothing and leave their hair uncombed. They must cover their mouths and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean! “As long as their serious disease lasts, they will be unclean. They must live in isolation in their place outside the camp.” We see from Leviticus how difficult it was to be a leper. They were not accepted in towns because they were seen as unclean. They were separated from loved ones too. I can only imagine how difficult and lonely their lives must have been.
As we imagine them crying out to Jesus we hear their desperation as they sought His mercy and His help. Jesus responds with love and compassion on these men. He tells them to go and show themselves to the priests and as they walk, they were healed. Though only one comes back a says thank you to Jesus. Of all the men that could have come back, it was a Samaritan. Samaritans were seen as half breeds: half Jew and half Gentile. Jews did not like the Samaritans because of this. As soon as the Samaritan man saw he was healed he came back to Jesus. He did four things to express his thankfulness. 1. He came back. 2. He praised God in a loud voice. 3. He fell down at Jesus’ feet. 4. He thanked Jesus.
Jesus is surprised that the other nine men who have been healed aren’t with him. Of all the people who came back, it was a foreigner. Then he says, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
What has been your experience when Jesus has healed you of sickness in the past? Did you humbly return to him praising and thanking him for what he had done? Or were you like the nine other men that had nothing to say. Jesus is actively at work in our life. He is at work healing and renewing us. Our response should always be gratitude and thanksgiving for the way he works and moves in our heart and our life. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever!” (1 Chron. 16:34)