Day 11 – Luke 17:12-19

“He was going into a village when he was met by ten men suffering from a dreaded skin disease. They stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us!” Jesus saw them and said to them, “Go and let the priests examine you.” On the way they were made clean. When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “There were ten men who were healed; where are the other nine? Why is this foreigner the only one who came back to give thanks to God?” And Jesus said to him, “Get up and go; your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:12-19 GNT

It is easy to pronounce judgement on these lepers in our heart. After all, because of Jesus they had been given their lives back. Their disease isolated them from family, friends, and community as a whole. All of the basic privileges of the general public had been stripped from them because of this terrible disease, and they were forced to an isolated, and lonely existence. We may think, how can one not give thanks or express gratitude for such a drastic life change? Shouldn’t it be the natural thing to do? However, before we become too hard on these ten lepers, let’s stop and consider our own hearts.
How often do we take our blessings for granted? How often do we fail to thank the Lord? Psalm 107:8 says, Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” This verse is a challenge for me to evaluate my own failure to do just that. When have I not considered the wonderful works of God around me? When have I been quick to gripe and complain, rather than celebrate His wonder and declare His goodness?
Far too often we are content to enjoy the gift, but we forget the Giver. Do you think the 9 who didn’t return would have considered themselves ungrateful? Probably not, after all they had new lives. They must be happy about that. Yet, out of 10 disease stricken people, 9 did not give thanks. That is 90 percent who missed an opportunity. Only 10 percent chose to express gratitude immediately. The reality that unfolds is this, nine experienced Him as healer, but one experienced Him as both healer and Saviour.
When have I been quick to ask for prayer, but slow to praise God for the answer to that prayer?
We should, as people of God, cultivate a heart filled with grace and gratitude. Scripture warns that the ungrateful heart is the fertile soil for all kinds of sins. (Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…)
The issue for all of us, is not whether God is doing what we think merits thanks, but whether we recognize Him at all times.
This man sets an example of gratitude for us. His praise is fervent, his humility is obvious, and his thanksgiving is clearly directed at the one to whom he is grateful.

Today, I am grateful for the piercing of God’s Word in my life. I am thankful that even when I don’t recognize Him, He remains committed to me. I am grateful for His healing in my life. He has raised me from a bed of sickness not many years ago and has restored my life. I may not have been as quick as the one who gave thanks in this passage, but today, I offer my grateful heart to Him as I say, “Thank you, Lord.”


  1. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    I guess “Jesus, Master” was the same as us calling across the parking lot, “Hey, Doctor!” heal me. They had heard the stories of what this man could do. They had no idea how he did what he did but if he really could heal them why not go for it. So call out they did. They also had been told whatever he says do it no matter what, cause he does some really weird things but they always work. So go show yourselves was their sign to move on out and WOW! surprise look at that it is done we are clean. I don’t think they thought miracle just thank goodness it worked and we are not going to wait to see if it lasts we are going to be declared whole as quick as possible. So to turn back to say thanks would have to wait until the next time they ran into this man. But one of them, not a Jew, one who had no right to ask a Jew for anything saw the truth.
    He turns from those he had hung with in seclusion for all this time to go back. But he doesn’t just come back and quietly whisper “Thanks” no in a loud voice he glorifies the One true God, the only One Who could do something so wonderful. It doesn’t say he recognized Jesus as the Son of God, it just says he fell at Jesus feet and thanked Him. He did have faith because Jesus tells him it was faith that healed him.
    Do you hear the hurt in Jesus voice when He asks “we’re there not ten cleansed?” I know it hurts my heart as I read it. 🙁 oh Lord how often in my life have I been one of the nine?
    This still is happening in the church today. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we come with our agendas. Our faith and praise is all we have to offer the King of kings. Yet, oh, we may dance, sing and have a great time but are our hearts in the right place? Do we recognize the Presence of the King or are we busy impressing someone other then God. Are our hearts even there in the sanctuary or are they already home making lunch, doing the ironing or planning the next week.
    I am thankful today that on one Sunday when I looked around at people praising God and saw more sadness then pure love and joy I made a decision. I decided I would praise with a smile on my face no matter what life was offering. So there I stand sometimes with tears streaming down my checks with a smile on my face. And you know what? You can’t have a smile on your face in God’s presence and not have thanksgiving rise up in your heart for all the good He has done for you. That smile will trigger something in you because your smile makes God smile and when He smiles you are truly blessed.
    I point no fingers because I have been a nine, but today I am thankful God has shown me that true praise comes from a heart of thanksgiving. So like David I enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart and praises on my lips.
    Wow I can hardly wait for 7:15pm so I can praise Him in the sanctuary with brothers and sisters who know this truth also. God is good! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Sue Holmes says:

    I know how easy it would be for the nine former lepers to get caught up in all they had missed. The family members that they were now able to reunite with, the activities once denied them now at their disposal, the inclusion into society once again. The miraculous had happened. The ones lost to family were able to come home! No more segregation! It would be so easy to become distracted by the things of this world that were once denied us. It would be so easy for them to enjoy the gift so much that they forgot about the Giver. Been there, done all that.
    But I hope that I have learned to be more like the man who came back. The scripture points out that he was a Samaritan. There was centuries of bitterness and hatred between the Jews & the Samaritans. The Samaritans occupied the land allotted to Joseph’s two sons and enjoyed the blessing of Jacob. Although the Samaritans may have started off with Jewish blood, through generations of inter-marriage with Gentiles the bloodline became defiled. The Samaritans mixed their worship of foreign idols with their worship of God. Political & geographical battles broke out when the Jews were brought back to Jerusalem from captivity to rebuild the land where the Samaritans were already dwelling. There were cultural, political, & religious differences that ran deep and were a breeding ground for hatred between the two.
    So this puts our Samaritan chap in a very awkward position. How he ended up with the other lepers we aren’t told. And we have to wonder why he would have approached the Jewish teacher/healer in the first place. He was an outcast from Jewish society because of his race, his politics, and his religion. He was an outcast from society in general because of his disease. Maybe he just got caught up in the crowd. Maybe he thought he could just hide among the Jewish lepers .
    I wonder if this Samaritan fellow realized what being healed would cost him. He was already an outcast but at least he had the company of other lepers … Jewish & Gentile alike. But once the ten were healed the other nine were unlikely to want to associate with a Samaritan. And another dilemma … the newly healed Samaritan was faced with having to present himself to a Jewish priest. Faced with the choice of continuing on to face the probable rejection of the religious leaders or return and face the distain of the Jewish crowd & possibly of Jesus himself, the Samaritan decided to fall on his face in humility and gratitude at the feet of his healer.
    There was something about the very nature of Jesus that compelled this Samaritan man to risk facing hatred and rejection. He knew there was more available than just a physical healing. Maybe he saw someone who also knew what it was like to be rejected by His own people. Maybe he saw someone who would know the pain of being publicly humiliated. Maybe he saw someone who soon would know the loneliness of being left to die outside of the city. Maybe he saw someone who would know what it was like to feel the rejection of His father. He saw someone who, with nothing more than His words was able to heal a body and a soul both. This Samaritan man saw the very heart of Love. He knew that the pure, holy Jewish God had no obligation to heal him. There was no sense of entitlement in this Samaritan man … only humility and gratitude. He was given something he couldn’t obtain on his own and something society had dictated that he didn’t deserve.
    Tonight, when I think of the situation this man was in, I see myself. I was also in need of something I couldn’t get on my own … salvation from sin. I was a foreigner … a gentile. I was the most undeserving. And yet Christ had compassion on me.
    I thank God for including me. I thank Him that He was willing to let His son die such a humiliating, painful death for a defiled, impure undeserving person such as me.
    I thank Him that He was unwilling to make me live a life without Him.

  3. Reply
    Jim Holmes says:

    Many suffer from a dreaded skin condition…it could be called “putting on a false front”…or living skin deep…or having no heart. It is looking good on the outside, but are dying on the inside. We can stay at a safe distance where truth cannot see how we dwell on emptiness, or expose our inadequacies. We need to do something to make sense out of Life. He commands us to go show ourselves before the priest. When we are desperate, what are our options? Hope brings the Author of our faith obtained through obedience to the (His) Word. And being surprised with joy, healed…let us not forget the Finisher of our faith… For it is with a grateful heart, recognizing that we were created for Him, that all that we are or ever will be, is because of the Way, or to know Truth is to know Him, or to live is to dwell in Him who is the Life. Our purpose, our being, is found at His feet where we hear that still small voice that shakes and shatters our lives. We are made lowly and are broken so that the fragrance of His Presence overtakes the aroma of the darkness of death in the world in which we live, that is, Christ in us, He lives.

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