Attributed to Pieter de Jode, NGO Image, National Gallery of Art, Public Domain
And it came to pass as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” And when He saw them, He said unto them, “Go, show yourselves unto the priests.” And it came to pass that as they went, they were cleansed. 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 none 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 17:11-19, KJ21)
Everyone in the group of outcasts knew the sting of rejection. Everyone in this band of disease ravaged men had been declared untouchable by their families, for they had leprosy and this deadly disease required separation by law and practice. Every one of these ten men hobbled along the dusty dirty road as best they could with their physical diminishments and handicaps. They was an odd mix to this group of men, for there were nine of one faith but the group also included one man from a faith, the nine despised. We cannot gather why this one man, a Samaritan was included with the clan of Jews. Maybe he just tagged along or maybe he was simply allowed to wander with them as prejudices had lost their power in bleak landscape of their existence. They were also wandering along the border of the land of these two faiths as if to acknowledge both their terrible predicament and their lack of a home because of the issue of their disease.
The bleakness in the lives of these men brightened as the Great Healer passed by them on his way to Jerusalem. The lepers cried out and the Messiah had mercy upon them and a great healing came upon them in a few glorious moments. The miracle come all ten men but only one man gave God glory in thankfulness. This one man, a Samaritan returned to the source of his new life with a thankful heart.
The Samaritan’s thankfulness brought him a blessing the other nine men did not receive. Salvation, wholeness and an encouraging faith that would sustain for a lifetime … we do not know all that the Master gave to the man along the road but we do know that his thankfulness was the beginning of great blessing. What great healing have we received from our Master that we have barely acknowledged? What great blessing have we missed in our failure to be thankful along the dusty road of our lives?
Suggested Scripture Reading … Luke 17