Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
And 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 – and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” – Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)
(Read previous reflections on earlier portions of this passage here and here.)
As you read this story, what do you observe, hear, and smell? Let’s focus our attention on verses 15 and 16 of this passage. “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 – and he was a Samaritan.”
These ten men were not simply healed of a physical disease. They were given their whole lives back. They could now go back to their homes, their families, their work. What do you think they did first? Just imagine the ripples of joy that were felt throughout their families and communities.
Verse 15 seems to describe a moment when one of the men looked down and realized he had been healed. Have you ever had a moment when you noticed healing had taken place in your life? When one man realized he had been healed, he stopped and came back to where Jesus was. Yet what was he delaying by making this return trip?
As he gets back to Jesus, the man begins to praise God in a loud voice. There’s that loud voice again! Have you ever been so grateful to someone that you’ve expressed your thanks in a big way? How did they respond? Have you ever been thanked that way?
After expressing his thankfulness, the man throws himself at Jesus’ feet. Imagine yourself at Jesus’ feet. What would you say to him? Think about asking Jesus what he would say to you.
We don’t know exactly what the man said to Jesus but we do know that he thanked him for his healing. At that time, Samaritans were seen as “less than” by the Jewish world. Have you ever felt this way?
What would you like to thank God for today? How will you thank him? Take some time each day this week to thank God for the ways he is cleansing you. Ask him for guidance as you live the rest of this day.