The power of thankfulness
Luke 17: 15-19 “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.”
We now see that this group was a mixture of Jews and Samaritans. They were usually divided and hated one another. It is strange how a disease can unite the greatest of enemies.
Where are the other 9? Was this man the only Samaritan?
Maybe the rest were Jews and being cleansed meant even more than the Samaritan because for them it meant they could be accepted back into the worship life of the community. As they were on the way to the priests they were healed and cleansed, but the most important thing was still to happen and that was they would be officially welcomed into society. So they just kept going. They needed to get to the priests and then they needed to be back into the heart of the community. They never thought of returning either when they were healed or when the priests gave them the full bill of health and by the time they were in the village doing life again, meeting long lost friends and family, Jesus was a distant figure to them.
Except this one man. It seems he never got to the priests. He turned around as soon as he was healed and he ran back to the cleanser of his life. As he is laying prostrate before Jesus he receives something that the others never did. The thankful always receive more.
Don’t move from these verses too quickly. The man was an ex-leper and very thankful and in acknowledgment of the Healer is in a position of worship. His return and submission, his acknowledgment of Jesus the Healer equals faith and this is what made him well. But that is not speaking of his leprosy. He was already healed. “Well” is sozo and it means ‘to save’. This man received far more, he received salvation, a healing of his soul which previously lay sick underneath a healed skin disease.
Let us live a life of thankfulness.
Why move on when you can turn back and thank Jesus for what He has done?!