Lenten Reader | Day 27


Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

- Luke 17:11-19
I can rattle off a list of things I am thankful for…coffee, heated car seats, hot showers, family, sunsets…my list can go on. I am sure each of you have lists. But today’s reading is about more than just a thankful heart. It’s about the posture of a thankful heart, offering deep gratitude, facedown at the feet of Jesus.

In our text today, we read about Jesus’ concern for the outcast and the broken. We observe 10 lepers who have the faith and obedience to find healing, and yet we watch just ONE marginalized Samaritan return to Jesus. Only ONE returns to Jesus to say thank you. He returns shouting, giving God the glory and falling at his feet, as he offers thanks. Ten were healed, but only one took the time to return.

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve fallen face down in gratitude for what God has done. I often recognize what Jesus has done, but I’m guilty of being more like the other nine lepers. This story begs me to look into my own heart and ask what’s my response to Jesus when he answers my prayers?

Sometimes, in our fast-paced lives there are so many prayer requests and needs to be met, we are quick to move on. We fail to stop and recognize just what Jesus has done for us. We neglect to take the time to return to him and give thanks.

The marginalized Samaritan in this story recognizes what Jesus has done. He’s been healed, and his prayer has been answered. And because of this he can’t just return with a high-five or a quick “thanks so much”. It requires more: he returns shouting his glory, falling facedown at his feet, offering all of himself in thanksgiving.

May we know what Jesus has done for us! May we be willing to see all the ways he has answered our prayers and healed our hearts. And may we be willing to return to Him, shouting his glory and falling face down to thank Him…even if we are the only one.

P.S. And why not take it a step further and share your answered prayer with others, so they too can give God the glory?!

-Sarah-Marie Welch