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Double-Edged Sword: The Power of the Word

Luke 17:12–19

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? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

The compassion of Christ is endless. In this passage we hear about Christ and his healing of ten men who were afflicted with leprosy. It is important to note the ten who are healed are outside the town and grouped together. It would not be uncommon for those afflicted with leprosy to congregate together because they were branded unclean and outcasts by the religious authorities of the day. The law requires them to remain outside the town. Because they are marginalized by others, they have to depend on pity and charity from passers-by who offered them some form of compassion to meet their physical needs.

Luke tells us all ten were healed on their way to see the priests who had the authority to declare these men clean. How often are we afraid to seek and approach God because of our own unclean hearts and sinful ways? The ten with leprosy were in such a dire situation, quite possibly they felt little long-term hope for their lives. Miraculously, they were healed on their way to see the priest. Only one returned to give thanks to the author of his healing, and he was a Samaritan.

Thankfulness to God is an essential characteristic of Christianity. Furthermore, the Samaritan who returned to give thanks to Jesus was given an extra blessing. Christ said, “Your faith has made you well.” It is faith and the powerful grace of God that makes one whole and saved. The Apostle Paul himself says in his second letter to the Corinthians, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”