On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)
This isn’t intended to sound crass, but the 10 lepers were not on Jesus’ itinerary. They happened to be on his way to Jerusalem. Of course we know that no one happens to be on Jesus’ agenda–He does everything on purpose. Theirs was a desperate plight. They had no hope of healing, no promise of restoration, no chance of relationships. Ostracized, they were confined to being outside the city gates. Their calling card was “unclean.” This day they cried to Jesus for mercy…and he responded. And as they went they were cleansed.
Then one of them. Only one. Ten were set free from a life of condemnation and shame. Only one said “thank you.” Ten were liberated from social isolation. Only one fell at Jesus’ feet. Ten were healed. Only one praised God. Only one. Jesus noticed.
“Were not ten cleansed?”
“Where are the nine?”
Who knows? “
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Yes, that’s right. And he’s a Samaritan. Samaritans were Israel’s outcasts. This leper turned worshiper was an outcast because he was a Samaritan. He was an outcast because he was a leper. Hopeless was his middle name. Rejection was his constant companion. Despair was his roommate.
And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
1 out of 10.
Will you be among the 9 this Thanksgiving? Or will you be the one who remembers your life before Christ and returns to give him thanks?
Be the 1.