November 7, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
Praising & Thanking God For His Blessings.
Not only was this man a leper, he was also a Samaritan – a race
despised by the Jews as idolatrous half-breeds (see the note on Luke
10:33). Once again Luke is pointing out that God’s grace is for
everybody. [Life Application SB]
People who had leprosy were required to try to stay away from
other people and to announce their presence if they had to come near.
Sometimes leprosy went into remission. If a leper thought his leprosy had
gone away, he was supposed to present himself to a priest who could
declare him clean (Leviticus 14). Jesus sent the ten lepers to the
priest before they were healed – and they went! They responded in
faith, and Jesus healed them on the way. Is your trust in God so strong
that you act on what he says even before you see evidence that it
will work? [Life Application SB]
Jesus used this occasion of healing to teach an important
lesson about thankfulness. “Didn’t I heal ten men?” he asked. “Where
are the other nine?” Jesus recognized our human propensity to ask
for miracles from God and yet fail to give him the glory.
Why is expressing thanks so important? It’s really a question
of need: God doesn’t need your thanks, but thankfulness
acknowledges your dependence upon him. When you acknowledge what he has done
for you, you are completing the cycle that God begins when he
promises to meet all of your needs. God gives to you out of his great
love and compassion, and you “return thanks” to him. Developing a
heart of praise and thanksgiving gives you a proper perspective of
your place in God’s plan. Being thankful is not so much about what it
does for God as what it does for you. [The One Year Bible for New
Believers re Luke 17:11-19]
Thankfulness is foundational to the Christian life.
Thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our
blessings to their source. As Christians, we have been forgiven, saved
from death, and adopted as God’s children. There could be no better
reason for a grateful heart!
Lepers in Jesus’ day were social outcasts. Their highly
contagious condition ostracized them from those they loved. When ten lepers
encountered Jesus, they desperately implored Him to show them mercy. Jesus
sent them to the priest. As they obeyed, they were healed! These ten
men had been forbidden to enter their own villages, to live in their
own homes, to work in their own jobs, or even to touch their own
children. Imagine what unrestrained joy must have filled them as they ran
back home again!
One of the lepers, a Samaritan, stopped and ran back to thank
Jesus. Samaritans were normally shunned by the Jews, but Jesus had
healed him! Jesus asked him, “Where are the others?” Ten lepers had
been healed. Ten lepers were reveling in their newfound health. Ten
men were joyfully rushing to share the good news with those they
loved. But only one considered the Source of that blessing and stopped
to thank and worship the One who had given him back his life.
We, too, have been healed and made whole by the Savior. We are
free to enjoy the abundant life the Savior has graciously given us.
Could we, like the nine lepers, rush off so quickly to glory in our
blessings without stopping to thank our Redeemer? God looks for our
thanks. Our worship, prayers, service, and daily life ought to be
saturated with thanksgiving to God (Php 4:6). [Experiencing God Day by Day
by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Luke 17:15, 16]