Luke 17: 11- 19
11 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.”
Leprosy is an infectious skin disease without a cure. Lepers were outcasted by their people. In fact, people with leprosy were only accepted by other lepers. Thus, creating a pool of wounded souls. Lepers wore torn clothes, wild hair, declare themselves unclean (Leviticus 12: 45-46). The lepers were even forbidden to worship due to the uncleanliness of their being. As Jesus was entering a village, he was approached by ten men with leprosy. Notice the location .. on the outside of the village. Respecting the law, the men stood a distance away from Jesus as they began to cry out “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”. At the sight of Jesus, the afflicted asked for comfort “Pity” rather than healing. At that moment Jesus tested their faith with the task of traveling to the priest. On the way to the priest, the men were healed. Obedience to Jesus brought them healing along the way. A WORD! This is a prime example of ‘Faith without work is dead” (James 2:17). The ten men were healed but only one went back with a thankful spirit. Only one man went back to lay and rejoice at the feet of Jesus. The thankful man was a Samaritan. Samaritans and Jews did not particularly get along. HOWEVER, the man was healed. Jesus told this newly healed man that his faith made him well.
Each of us has been or felt cast out by our own. This could be due to our behavior, spiritual difference, jealousy, etc. If we're being honest, we may have even cast ourselves out for the same reasons. We’ve gathered with the wounded and created an afflicted reality. Standing on the outside of our comfort zone waiting for normality to circle back. Some of us carry struggle well. We can dress it up to look good while others look like their circumstance. In the midst of affliction, we stumble across the presence of God. In such a desirable moment we fumble our prayers and ask for comfort rather than strength or healing. God being God sends us along and we receive healing along the way. I’ve found myself in this situation many times. God has given me more than I deserved, and a lot more than I expected. On my journey of painful obedience, God shows up with everything that I needed. Healing along the way.
The Samaritan was healed, and he went back to say thank you. This took me out. The Jews and the Samaritans had bad blood with each other. Meaning, that Jesus as a Jew has every right to look the other way. God does not have to do anything for us. Yet, he found us in the middle of our affliction and loved us anyway. The Samaritan was thankful that he turned around to lay at the feet of Jesus and reverence him. We have so much to thank God for. A lifetime of thanks yous would not even suffice. We get so caught up in what we don’t deserve that we eclipse our thankfulness. Turn around and Thank God for giving you what you needed along the way. Tell God thank you for healing those connected to you. All ten men were healed. Thank God for stopping to hear your afflicted plea.
Lastly, keep the faith. Your faith will carry you places that your flesh cannot. Your faith will move mountains that your eyes cannot see. Faith lets God know that you take him at his word before it comes to past.