“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” – Luke 17:19
According to Luke Jesus was walking along the border of Galilee and Samaria when he came across ten lepers. These people had been ostracized from society. They couldn’t associate with anyone other than those who had the same malady, which usually meant they stuck together in groups and in little communes.
As Jesus was entering a local village (Scripture doesn’t identify which one) these ten lepers call out to Him. “Jesus, have mercy on us!” They’ve heard about Jesus, they no doubt recognize Him by the crowds that were following, and they’ve kept their distance. Jesus shouts back, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” Luke then says in verse 14, “And as they were going, they were cleansed.”
Evidently they turned around and went to the priests. They had enough faith to believe that when Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests that they would be healed. Now it’s important to note the word used here in verse 14, “cleansed.” The Greek indicates healing from a ceremonially unclean disease or sickness, which is what these lepers had. They had to shout “Unclean, Unclean!” Every time they were near anyone who was “clean.”
But as we continue through Luke 17 we find out that one of these leprous men comes back to Jesus and falls at His feet praising and thanking Jesus. It’s a Samaritan. Jesus says, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine–where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” The implication is that most of the men were not foreigners, that they were Jews.
Now pay attention to what Jesus says next, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well (has saved you).” There a difference between cleansing and saving isn’t there? All of them were healed in body, but this Samaritan was healed in his soul, he was saved. His gratitude for what Christ had done for him pricked his conscious. He recognized he had experienced an encounter with God Himself.
And so with us, we must develop a life of gratitude. God does so much for us that we neglect to thank Him for. God does so much for us that we gloss over during the day. We get caught up in the things we want and need that we forget to thank Him for the things He’s done for us. Thank Him today.