17:11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee.
17:12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance,
17:13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean.
17:15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.
17:16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
17:17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?
17:18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
17:19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
How often do we stop and praise God for His loving faithfulness in our lives. These verses point to two different lessons. The first is that we should constantly be thankful for God’s providence in our lives and the second is that no one is ever outside God’s loving and gracious hand.
God is always working behind the scenes to provide and care for us. Here we see Him immediately answer the call of these men who were sick and in need of healing. They cried out to God for mercy and He lovingly extended that towards them. I love how the passage points out that it was a Samaritan that came back to praise Him. During those times, Samaritans were a class of people that were looked down upon by the Jewish nation. This passage shows us how Christ’s love was extended to all and not one was excluded from God’s loving care.
The foundation to all of this is the Samaritan’s faith. He was able to recognize that God was the one who healed him and that all the praise and Glory was to go to Him.
We forget sometimes that Jesus’ primary responsibility was first to the children of Israel. Yet we see the gospel to the gentiles unfolding through Jesus’ words and actions.
Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?
Jesus was slightly irritated at the one man who returned to praise God was a Samaritan, not a Jew. In today’s culture it would be like 9 Christians and 1 non-Christian getting healed by the Lord and only the non-Christian returning to thank Him. This is a true indicator of condition of mankind’s heart. We seek God when we are in pain yet we forget to thank Him when He provides for us.
Let us not be like the 9 lepers who were touched by the Lord physically yet had no change of heart. We should always rejoice in the good times and the bad. We must seek God when it’s easy and when it’s hard. We must be a people of thanks even if it’s inconvenient.