As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”Luke 17:11-19
What does gratitude have to do with faith? The Samaritan who returned to Jesus, thanking and glorifying God for his bodily healing, received spiritual healing as well. Gratitude and faith are intertwined.
Faith binds us to our Creator, to whom an infinite debt is owed for life, as a child to his or her parents. The felicitous response is gratitude. Existence is permeated with gratitude. Since the dawn of creation, to be is to be grateful, as one creature after another leapt into being in praise of God (Genesis 1).
The grateful Samaritan, restored to wholeness, received shalom in faith and thanksgiving.
4 Replies to “A Samaritan’s Thank You”
The lepers, thus sinners, no longer divided by their faith but came together as one due to a common ailment. But Jesus declared a nonbeliever is actually a believer and thus divided them by redefining what it means to be faithful.
The Samaritan recognized the voice of the Good Shepherd and returned to thank him:
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul.
Dear GMC, Thank you for your reflection, GMC. I thank God for you. I have often felt like the one leper who came back to say thank you. Gratitude to God is my greatest secret to happiness, which brings faith no matter the circumstance. Come, Holy Spirit!! And with faith, there’s nothing that God and I can’t handle. Thank you, Lord, for all that you give me and don’t give me. In you, it’s all good!
In gratitude, God is always present. Thank you for sharing.