As Jesus 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.”
THIS FOREIGNER RETURNED TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD. Jesus singles out the Samaritan among the ten lepers who are cured by him. As Jesus enters a village, the lepers cry out for healing. Jesus immediately sends them to the priests in Jerusalem. They proceed right away. Jesus is also walking towards Jerusalem. The lepers will get there earlier than Jesus who is slowed down by his preaching to people and healing their sick.
We may wonder what the nine non-Samaritans were doing in Samaria. Is it a place for Jewish lepers? They are surely Jews because they are asked to present themselves to the priests in Jerusalem. The Samaritans have their own Mt. Gerizim, since the time of Sanballat in 450 BC or earlier.
The Samaritan leper returns to Jesus to give thanks once he discovers he is healed along the way. Nobody knows how far he has traveled before he is healed. Will he catch up with the others? This no longer seems important.
From the story we learn at least two things: thanksgiving and faith. Giving thanks to God should not be delayed. Once we receive blessings, we express our thanksgiving. And Jesus tells the Samaritan, “Your faith has saved you.” Faith saves and brings total healing.
We must have a thankful faith that makes us return to our healer and Savior.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.