It can be a tough road when one doesn’t follow along with one’s peers. Even if one is on solid ground, it can be a daunting task to be the one and only left standing. In one of the stories in the Gospel of Luke, there was such a man, a Samaritan leper.
His story is told in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee, on His way to Jerusalem. He entered a village and was approached by ten lepers. Leprosy robbed these ten of their quality of life as well as threatened their life. It was an isolating illness separating them from their loved ones, their home, and society.
The ten must have been an eyesore to behold, but Jesus did not look away from them. While keeping their distance, in unison, they pleaded to Jesus for mercy. He did not turn a deaf ear to their cries. Jesus instructed them to show themselves to the priests and like obedient children, they did as they were told. As they went their way, the horrid disease left their bodies. The leper spots were gone.
They continued on their way without looking back except for one. The Samaritan in the group turned back to where Jesus was and fell at Jesus’s feet. He thanked Jesus for healing his body. 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 STRANGER?”
It’s music to my ears to hear a “thank you”. Since I should treat people the way I want to be treated, these two words should be words I use frequently instead of rarely.
Jesus told the healed man to go on his way; that his faith had made him well. By faith, the stranger called out to Jesus for mercy. By faith, he turned back from the other nine and thanked the One who took away his leper spots. By faith, he did the right thing. Although he was the stranger among them, he was the grateful one of the ten.