Luke – Wide Open Doors
Ten men in misery and pain because of leprosy were in exile. They must of heard that Jesus was coming their way. They stood, by law, at a distance, but close enough for Jesus to hear their cries for help. Even though they could not relate with society at large, they knew enough about Jesus to know He could help them. “Jesus, have mercy!”
Jesus heard their cries for help and had compassion on the men, sent away to live with others with the same malady, separated from the rest of humanity. That meant these men could no longer be with their families for fear of giving them the disease. No embracing hugs. No family celebrations. They could only be with people who had the same disease.
Jesus only “looked at them” and told them to show themselves to the nearest Priest. Wait, what?! As they turned to walk toward the priest in faith and obedience, Jesus healed the exiles of the leprosy that had separated them from the rest of the world. According to Law, the local priest had to examine that healing. It was his job to pronounced the “unclean”, “clean” once more so people could reenter their community.
Can you imagine the feeling of once exiled, now acceptable to come back?! The men can now go home to their families, help to support them once more and reenter their society of friends! You can live as you lived before the disease.
Wouldn’t you be grateful, elated, jumping up and down, praising the One who gave you new life?
All but one was God’s Chosen. The one who was not a Jew was a Samaritan. Only one came back to thank Jesus in high praise by humbling falling at Jesus feet.
Luke 17, New Living Translation
Ten Healed of Leprosy
11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
Are we the One who will give praise for everything God does for us?
In our excitement over healing, problems solved, or incredible peace in the middle of storms that we forget to give praise to the One who made it happen?
LET’S DIG DEEPER…
At the border of Samaria and Judea, Jesus healed ten lepers at one time, and the fact that the miracle involved a Samaritan made it even more significant (see Luke 10:30–37). Jesus used this event to teach a lesson about gratitude to God.
The account begins with ten unclean men (Luke 17:11–13), all of whom were lepers (see the comments on Luke 5:12–15). The Jews and Samaritans would not normally live together, but misery loves company and all ten were outcasts. What difference does birth make if you are experiencing a living death? But these men had hope, for Jesus was there, and they cried out for mercy. The word translated “master” is the same one Peter used (Luke 5:5) and means “chief commander.” They knew that Jesus was totally in command of even disease and death, and they trusted Him to help them.
The account continues by referring to nine ungrateful men. Jesus commanded the men to go show themselves to the priest, which in itself was an act of faith, for they had not yet been cured. When they turned to obey, they were completely healed, for their obedience was evidence of their faith.
You would have expected all ten men to run to Jesus and thank Him for a new start in life, but only one did so—and he was not even a Jew. How grateful the men should have been for the providence of God that brought Jesus into their area, for the love that caused Him to pay attention to them and their need, and for the grace and power of God that brought about their healing. They should have formed an impromptu men’s chorus and sung Psalm 103 together!
But before we judge them too harshly, what is our own “GQ”—“Gratitude Quotient”? How often do we take our blessings for granted and fail to thank the Lord? “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men” (Ps. 107:8, 15, 21, 31). Too often we are content to enjoy the gift but we forget the Giver. We are quick to pray but slow to praise.
Luke’s account closes with ONE UNUSUAL MAN.
The Samaritan shouted “Glory to God!” and fell at Jesus’ feet to praise Him and give thanks. It would have been logical for him to have followed the other men and gone to the temple, but he first came to the Lord Jesus with his sacrifice of praise. This pleased the Lord more than all the sacrifices the other men offered, even though they were obeying the law. Instead of going to the priest, the Samaritan became a priest, and he built his altar at the feet of Jesus.
By coming to Jesus, the man received something greater than physical healing: he was also saved from his sins. Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you” (literal translation), the same words He spoke to the repentant woman who anointed His feet (Luke 7:50). The Samaritan’s nine friends were declared clean by the priest, but he was declared saved by the Son of God!
While it is wonderful to experience the miracle of physical healing, it is even more wonderful to experience the miracle of eternal salvation. Every child of God should cultivate the grace of gratitude. It not only opens the heart to further blessings but glorifies and pleases the Father. An ungrateful heart is fertile soil for all kinds of sins, entitlement attitudes of selfishness.
BE THE ONE who is humbly grateful with exceeding joy and praise for the Giver of Life!
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Yes! I am grateful for all you have done, are doing and will do in my life. You saved me, restored me, healed by brokenness, set me free to love like you love. You are God and we are not. Nothing is too hard for you. Everything is impossible without You. Apart from you, I am nothing of real significance. With you, attached to you, abiding in you, I am healthy, growing, and transforming into all you intended for me to be. Yes, thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for daily protection and provisions enough to share. Thank you for guiding and leading us. Yes, thank you for Your Holy Spirit who lives in us.
I will be the one who gives thanks and lives in gratitude because YOU are the ONE in me.
In Jesus Name, Amen