Friday, July 13, 2018
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 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.”
Ten men were healed, but only one came back to praise God and he was a foreigner, a Samaritan. Counter to expectation, the one who returned was apart from God’s chosen people the Jews. He was the outsider, the one looked down on as somehow less as a person. But Jesus points him out as greater, for he alone of the ten came back to praise God for his healing. Jesus told him that his faith has made him well.
What that says to me is that to be healed physically is not enough, if we still choose to hold on to the scars of our past. These may be burdens of resentment, regret, sorrow, even helplessness in the face of forces beyond our control. We allow our past to be just as much a burden as any physical limitations placed upon us because of age, illness or injury. These burdens rob us of peace and joy, and prevent us from seeing what good God is working in our lives. I may have been healed of one thing, but I am still overwhelmed by fifteen more things that continue to shadow my days.
But this man came back. He was thankful. He praised God in a loud voice, so no one could miss hearing him. And Jesus told him his faith made him well. This Samaritan was blessed when he gave God the praise. Did he have other problems? Most definitely, if he was anything like the rest of us. But what shined forth like a beacon for him was knowing the fullness of God’s love, which put all his other aches and pains, issues and problems into perspective. He could rise from Jesus’ feet that day and go on his way a different man from the inside out.
May we gaze upon Jesus’ face today, knowing that by faith, we have been changed. We have been made new, and it is our gift simply by grace. Come back, praise God, throw yourself at Jesus’ feet. Be the one out of ten. And Jesus will declare to you, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Lord, help me kneel at your feet and declare my thanks with a loud voice, for all the good you are working in my life. Let me count the ways and be filled with joy. Today may I give you the praise, for you have made me well, if I can but perceive it and be grateful. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.