Sometimes when you read a Bible story, do you wonder how it has anything to do with you? Like the one we’re going to look at today. I’m glad that Jesus healed the 10 lepers. But, why is the healing of a Samaritan important to us?
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16
As children, my brother and I would play a little game when we were traveling on family vacations. To give us something to do, we would often look at license plates of passing cars. We wanted to see what states other cars were traveling from.
Crossing from one state to another we would see a bigger variety of states represented. Verse 11 of Luke 17 says As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.
As they reached a border town, verses 12 and13 say, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” These men could have represented ten nationalities.
But chances are, nine of them were Jewish. I say that because Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest. Verse 14 goes on to say, And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
Verse 15, our verse for today says, “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.”
The Healing Of A Samaritan
Why was it important for us to know that he was a Samaritan? I’m sure you have heard when someone is telling a story that they need to refer to a person’s skin color. Or they need to let you know what nationality they are.
As far as Jesus was concerned, his nationality was immaterial. Jesus healed all ten lepers without any prejudice. But, I’m sure there was some prejudice toward Samaritans among the disciples. You see, Samaritans were very much disliked by the Jews.
The emphasis on this man coming back to Jesus was two-fold. First, he was thanking Jesus for cleansing him. Here this man was for all practical purposes banished from all of humanity. There was no cure for leprosy. The only social life they could have was to find people just like themselves and band together.
The other reason isn’t quite as obvious. Because he was a Samaritan, he couldn’t go to the priest. So what could he do? He went to the source of his healing. He went to the one who was greater than even the High Priest—Jesus.
Why His Healing Is Important to Us
Put yourself in the shoes of this Samaritan leper. He contracted a disease that got worse as life went on. His body was destined to rot away while he was still alive. He was so grateful to Jesus because of his healing, the scripture says he came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God! Did you put yourself in his shoes?
Good! Because you are in his shoes. Before you had an encounter with Jesus, your life was rotting away in its sin. Only this is worse. Leprosy can only kill the body, sin can damn the soul. Jesus cleansed us from all sin.
This Samaritan immediately went back to Jesus, praising, and thanking Him. This is where we should find ourselves on a daily basis, full of praise and thankfulness. Even if you can’t think of anything to be thankful for at the moment, take a deep breath and thank Him for it.
Lord, thank you for cleansing our lives of all sin and making a way for us to have eternal life with you.
Check out this excellent post on Worship called, How To Worship God With All Of Your Life.
You can read the whole account of Luke 17 here.
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