Daily Devotionals

March 21st, 2022

Read: Luke 17:11-19 

As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.  As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance,  crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.  One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”  He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Leprosy was a horrible disease in biblical times. There was no known cure and those that contracted it were banished from society, looked upon as unclean, and treated as outcasts. To be healed of this disease certainly must have been a blessing to these men. 

Not to minimize Jesus’ miracle, let’s turn our focus to one of many themes in this passage. The scripture does not say how the men knew Jesus could heal (noting him as “Lord” was likely Greek for epistates, meaning an official or leader), but let’s consider they heard this man {Jesus} had “magical” powers. At the time, there were magicians and wizards who claimed to have such powers. These afflicted men were desperate, had nothing to lose – why not give it a try? What is most interesting is once they realized they were healed, only one came back to offer gratitude to the healer. But notice, he came back praising God and worshiping at Jesus’ feet. Not only did this man offer gratitude, but he also recognized Jesus as God. He realized it was not magic but the work of the Messiah – the one true God. The other nine did not even return. 

How often do we give credit to something other than God in our lives? We receive a promotion and attribute it to our education or accomplishments on the job. We make it through a successful surgery and recognize the surgeon as being one of the best. Education, hard work, and a skilled surgeon are not bad in and of themselves, but when we consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:26, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible,” we realize nothing is ever really achieved without God. Gratitude is never wasted, and it should be given often in our daily lives, but let’s not forget to first thank the only One who makes all things possible.