"And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” And He said unto him, “Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.” Luke 17:15-19
Sometimes we question God's Integrity based on our own integrity. We think because our integrity wavers between good and evil that somehow God will intentionally betray us. Well, this is partly true, if we are referring to betrayal by Truth. God is consistently Righteous, Holy, and Truthful. If anything, we are the ones who continually betray God with the inconsistency of our actions, words, and thoughts.
In Luke 17:11-19, is the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus as he passed through Samaria and Galilee on his way to Jerusalem. To fully understand the story, you have to know some of the historical correlation between the Samaritans, Jews, and the disease leprosy. All lepers, unlike others who were ailing in ancient times, had to stay away from their village for two reasons; first, villagers felt leprosy was contagious, and second, according to Hebraic law, there were to be no prolonged interactions between the healthy and the sick. This was especially true if you were a priest. Once someone was regarded as having leprosy, they were expelled from their village, and other lepers became their new family network, without regard to tribal heritage or culture. Now the thing about the Samaritans is, the governing Jews despised them. Samaritans were Jews also, however, because they were racially mixed and had intermarried non-Jews from neighboring tribes, the governing Jews felt they were not “pure-bred.” We read into this in the exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:9.
As the story goes, the 10 lepers, outcasts of Hebrew society, ailing with the ultimate disease of their day, cry out to Jesus to heal them, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Merciful and faithful He hears their plea for mercy, and says to them, “Go show yourselves unto the priests.” Although it is taboo to go near the priests, obediently they start to go; and, as they are walking, they are healed.
Here is the part we forget even today—gratitude. Only one leper—the Samaritan, upon finding himself healed, returns, and in a loud voice, begins to glorify God, giving thanks, prostrate at Jesus’ feet! Ordinarily, most people refer to the lack of gratitude shown by the other nine, citing Jesus’ query, “…Where are the nine?” However, since today’s Daily is on faithfulness, let us note, it was the Samaritan, a man from a group the Jews believed to be impure, and possibly unholy, who came back to offer gratitude.
More importantly, let us remember, although the nine did not return to offer their supplication of gratitude for receiving mercy and healing, Jesus in His Faithfulness did not retract their healing! So, although we may waver minute by minute; God never does! Today, in between the food, family and friends, like the last leper, take the time to offer praises of Love and Gratitude for ALL that He has already done! L.
Study Reference: Luke 17:11-19
From: "Faithfulness, Not Relying On Gratitude." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Groza Danut