Luke 17:15, 16 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
These verses are at the heart of the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. All ten were cleansed but only this one returned and gave praise to God. Jesus wondered where the other nine were – why they didn’t come back too.
But let’s focus on the one who responded as they all should have. There’s a good possibility that he led a normal life until he became a leper. Maybe he was a farmer or a shepherd. He likely had family and friends. Then came the day when he discovered that he had leprosy.
I cannot imagine the pain of being separated from wife, children, parents, friends, your home – your entire world. This separation is on top of having this dreaded disease. Living a life where you are shunned by everyone except those who have the same disease.
Then you hear about Jesus – a Nazarene who is performing all manner of miracles. Think of the discussions among the lepers as they dared to hope that Jesus might heal them. And then He does. All ten are cleansed. But this one, in his incredible joy, returns loudly praising God and finding Jesus to thank Him.
Then, imagine returning to your wife and children – to your parents and brothers and sisters and friends. This man had his life not only returned to him – but it was as though all things became new. Can you see him asking God to help him to never forget what Jesus did for him? Can you see him thanking God every day for all the normal little things that he can now do again?
Spend some time thinking about the wonderful things that Jesus has done in your life. Think of where you might be, if He hadn’t responded to your cry for help. Ask the Lord to restore gratitude within you if it’s missing. Hopefully, we all will be overwhelmed with gratitude for the loving kindness of our God.