Monday, October 11, 2010


Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, 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 made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."

In the sermon Sunday, I explored the significance of the identity of the “grateful leper.” He was a Samaritan and a leper, a double outcast, but was the surprising source of thanks. I think this is the critical focus of this passage from Luke.

The sermon could have taken a number of directions; it is a rich text! There is certainly something here about responding to grace and healing. The “grateful leper” received the same restoration as the other lepers, the same gift of life and new health, but he alone stops to recognize God as the source of it. His act of thanks marks a greater awareness of the significance of his healing. He was readmitted to society free of leprosy, so he was restored to relationship with his fellow humans, and his giving thanks to Jesus signified right relationship to God.

Gratitude is a powerful and central feature of all healthy relationships. Expressed appreciation communicates to others the meaningful nature of their gifts to us. How do we offer God our gratitude for all the blessings of this life? What do you offer God in the name of expressed appreciation?

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