A couple of weeks ago my daughter Danielle, listened to an impromptu discussion regarding the impact of Luke 17:11-19 which immediately inspired her to dig deeper into the significance of the verses. I loved it! Observing this, I decided to honor her interest in that passage and invite this slice of instruction to penetrate our hearts as well! The verse reads like this, “While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, 10 men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He told them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And while they were going, they were healed. But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, ‘Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He told him, ‘Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”
While reading this passage, I first noticed the diseased referred to the Lord as ‘Jesus, Master’. The word Master in this portion denotes “a chief, a commander, overseer master.” It shows a recognition of His authority, rather than that of Teacher. In addressing Him in this way, they identified him as Savior as well as Commander (possessing the power necessary to meet their need).
Jesus commanded the 10 to go and show themselves (Jesus’ will had already accomplished their healing) so that their healing could be pronounced by the priests. The text does not state at what stage of their obedience they actually sensed their healing (whether it was in the ‘going’ or in the ‘showing). The presentation of themselves to the priest was done in line with the regulations of Leviticus 14:2-32. When the infected person was healed, the priest was to pronounce him clean when a gift was offered. What is remarkable here is that the one returning to Jesus, offered Him a gift of praise (with a loud voice so all might know the miracle received and join in giving glory to Jesus), upon which Jesus (acting as priest) pronounced him “well”.
The nine only received the outward cure, but the returning one received the spiritual blessing. The nine received what they sought, forgot about being thankful, and most likely just returned to their restored life. Gratitude proved to be absent in their hearts, as it is in most. Is it the general character of men to be unthankful and unholy? In this passage, Jesus speaks of the ingratitude of man as a whole “as a prophetic type of what will also ever take place.” (for an example see 2 Timothy 3:1-4) We are cleansed of our sins by the blood of Christ and are justified by His righteousness but are we quickened in our spirits to remember His goodness, finding ourselves returning to Him often to give Him glory?
Let’s look at this from another perspective. If the 10 presented themselves to the priest before the one decided to return and give thanks to the Healer, the priest (because of hostility toward Jesus) may have convinced the nine to not return…and they listened. The Samaritan, because of the lack of priestly influence, would have paid no attention to the suggestion. Are our hearts stirred to give praise and worship to our Deliverer but decline because of the influence of others? Let it not be so! Ingratitude is not a characteristic we value in others and I suspect something also grieved by Christ.
Jesus’s will went forth and when the lepers, acting in obedience left, they were healed (meaning to cleanse, purge, purify, make clean, ex: from physical stains or dirt). However, when the one returned, Jesus pronounced that the man’s faith had made him well (meaning healed, made whole, rescue from destruction) which is a more comprehensive type of healing. The openly expressed gratitude of the Samaritan, who alone brought praise to God, also alone received the blessing from the Priest of all priest, the Commander of all commanders, and the Savior of all willing souls.
Shall we, who have been ‘made whole’ also fall down at his feet in gratitude? Let’s memorize this portion of scripture and offer a gift of praise to our Deliverer, Redeemer, and Savior! In doing so, may it also rekindle the hearts of others to also join with their gift of praise! Hallelujah!!
Let’s hear from those who have memorized scripture!
In His grace,