“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.” (Luke 17:11-19)
I am finding more and more, beloved reader, the scripture passages on healing are bringing to the surface all kinds of issues for me. But there are my issues and not yours. And I should not burden these reflections with my personal agenda. However, from the perspective of one who desperately wants healing, I can see this from both sides.
When you are very ill, (leprosy is outside of my experience but I can appreciate the severity of it) any possible hope and cure is met with great enthusiasm. So when a possible cure, and an immediate miraculous one at that, comes by there will be much shouting and attention getting. I am sure that each of the ten made enough noise for a large crowd, even at a distance. And if healing is bestow, there would be little thought given to acknowledgment & thanks, and more given to the confirmation of the cure and a resumption of long awaited normal life. So I can understand if none of the lepers came back.
But, there is also gratitude. Unfailing overwhelming gratitude for the cure. Appreciation for what it took to bring the cure about. And adoration for that person or persons who brought about the cure. Not just briefly, but over and over repeatedly. So I can understand why the one lone leper returned to thank and praise Jesus in a humble fashion.
Furthermore, I can understand the position of someone who brought about the healing. No, I am not a doctor, or even a nurse. As a therapist I have helped a handful of people to better emotional and psychological lives. Now, none of them prostrated themselves before me or praised me. But the thanks was abundant. But Jesus’ response is not within my experience. But then, if the story were told of the healing it would not be told to make a point. That many times thanks and appreciation comes from unexpected and un-looked for sources. And that the Son of Man is more appreciated by those whose priorities are aligned to the Spirit. May we be like the Samaritan and give praise where it is due when there is healing in our lives. Selah!