11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.Luke 17:11–19 (NASB95)
12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him;
13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice,
16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they?
18 “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”
Not only had the Samaritan man been obedient to someone he should hate, he made the connection between his healing and God’s hand. The nine were no doubt ecstatic but for some reason (we can only speculate) failed to recognize who healed them. One wonders if they even made it to the priests given the freedom that they all suddenly enjoyed.
There are many takes on this miracle. I’ve heard many from the pulpit. Rightly so, most come down hard on the nine ungrateful lepers. But he who is without sin, cast the first stone! Honestly, at times I’ve witnessed the hand of God in my life, and in my exuberance, I haven’t immediately turned back and fallen at his feet. But it’s not only when a mountain has been moved on my behalf that I’m to give him glory, but in everything!
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Constantly we should be rerolling this tape in our minds, “Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God!” And we should be seeing God’s hand in everything we do and encounter. “Everything he does is magic, every little thing,” to borrow from the Police song.
That may be Jesus’ point in bringing up the Kingdom of God (Luke 17:20-21). The only sign of its coming arrival the people needed was God on two feet. The Kingdom of God was in their midst! Only the Samaritan leper seemed to notice.