”Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[b] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17.11-18
When Jesus touches your life, when you experience a radical healing or forgiveness, you can’t help but give God thanks. You can’t help but tell others what God has done, share the good news, communicate with friends.
Imagine if you won the giant Powerball lottery right now? It’s almost one billion dollars. Ridiculous, really, that people are putting their hope in money. But imagine if you won it and you could do positive things with it. Wouldn’t everyone know? They certainly would! You would shout it from the roof tops!
Jesus heals ten lepers. They find him as they are going along the road, and as was the law, “they stood at a distance.” They cried out from a far, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Jesus doesn’t go up to them. He doesn’t touch them. He doesn’t make a miraculously visible healing. He says, “Go show yourselves to the priests!” And the text says that as they went they were healed. Progressive healing.
But one returns to Jesus upon seeing that he was being healing, “praising God in a loud voice.” He throws himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The Bible tells us that “he was a Samaritan.” Jesus asked a rhetorical question to the crowd of onlookers and followers, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has one no returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then Jesus said, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
What if this had been you? What if when God did a marvelous work in your life you failed to return to Him to give thanks? Imagine the missed opportunity! Imagine the lack of gratitude? Our response, when God does mighty things is to return to the foot of the Cross and give thanks. The one non-Jew did this! He was a Samaritan! Jesus was making a very clear point about the faith of the Jews and that one Samaritan who believed.
What has the Lord done for you lately? How about the breath in your lungs, the ground beneath your feet, the blood flowing in your body? What about the food, shelter, clothing he provides? What about the salvation you’ve experienced through the forgiveness of sins?
Lets be like the one Samaritan who returns to Jesus, throwing ourselves at his feet, thanking and praising God. Lets echo the old hymn, “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done” –
“To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.”
”O Lord God, you are marvelous! Your ways are great! Thank you for your goodness! I am in awe of your power and presence. You have done incredible things. When my love fails, your love remains steadfast. Let your praise always be on my lips. H not miss one day without giving you glory. For you have saved me, healed me, sustained me and loved me. Come now Lord Jesus, fill me with your power and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen