He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done (Luke 17:16).
Today I learned some simple lessons from a leper about being thankful. It’s Day 10 of our 30 Days of Thankful. I’ve been pondering the story about Jesus healing ten lepers. Only one comes back to thank him. But there is so much more to the story. Let’s take a few minutes to reflect on this passage:
As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you” (Luke 17:11-19 NLT).
All ten men are on their way to see the priest. The priest must perform the religious ritual for lepers to be pronounced cleansed. As they went, they were healed–even before they got to the priest.
But only one of them is thankful. Look at his response:
- He runs back to Jesus.
- He praises God as he goes.
- He falls to the ground at Jesus’s feet–thanking him profusely.
- He displays humility.
Jesus is incredulous that none of the others come back. Only one out of ten. Ten percent. Only the one gives glory to God. Honors Him for healing him. “Stand up….and go,” Jesus tells the Samaritan leper. “Your faith has healed you.” The word for “healed” in the Greek is translated solo. It also means “saved.”
Was the man also saved? Had he acknowledged Jesus as his Lord? He was the outsider–not only a leper but a despised Samaritan. He was nothing more than a pagan, according to the Jews. Yet he was the only one out of ten. The ten percent. The one who gave God glory.
I want to be in that ten percent today. To notice when Jesus acts. To stop my plans. To go back to Jesus and thank Him–give Him glory. I want to be that one.