Just a blogging note: this will probably be my last blog for the next few days as I will probably be computerless over the last few days of my vacation.
In this passage, we see ten lepers hanging out together when they see Jesus. And if there was one thing that this terrible disease did, it broke down barriers that would have otherwise existed. Jews and Samaritans, as we’ve noted before, detested each other. But with these men cut off from their own peoples because of their disease, they found there truly were no differences between them.
The same is true with us. In Romans 3:22-23, it says,
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
No matter your religious or cultural background, all of us are the same. We all suffer from the disease of sin, and apart from the touch of Christ, we are cut off from God, and will be separated from him forever when we die.
There is absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves, much as there was no way, in those days, for a person to save himself from leprosy once they caught it. All we can do is what those lepers did. Throw ourselves on God’s mercy. These men cried out to Jesus,
Jesus, Master, have pity on us! (13)
And Jesus in his mercy cleansed them. But it required faith. Jesus didn’t heal them right away. He told them to go show themselves to the priests, and it was as they were on their way to do so, that they suddenly found themselves cleansed. In the same way, we can only be cleansed of our sins by putting our faith in Jesus.
But then we come to the key point. When the 10 men realized that they were cleansed, all were overjoyed, but it says that when the Samaritan realized he had been healed, he alone returned to Jesus to thank him.
And when Jesus saw this, he asked,
Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? (17-18)
How often does Jesus ask the same concerning us? He gave his life on the cross to cleanse us from our sins. By his grace, we have been saved from eternal death. Yet how often, do we take our salvation for granted. I’m not only talking about failing to express thanks in our words, but in our actions. How often do our actions show how grateful we are to Christ for what he has done for us? Does the grace and love he has poured into our lives, stop there? Or does it cause us to pour that grace and love into those around us, and in so doing bring glory to God?
Is your life a reflection of your gratitude toward Jesus for all he has done for you?