Luke 17:15,16 ¶ And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
This is one of the great miracles of Jesus recorded in the Bible. If you are not observant you may miss the real miracle. Of course the healing of leprosy was spectacular just as all of God’s miracles are, but the greatest miracle in this story was not so spectacular. It was more of a hidden, mysterious miracle. It was the miracle of a thankful heart. All ten of these lepers were physically healed and got to return to their lives. Only one saw Jesus for who He really is. Who is He? He is not only the healer of bodies but the healer of broken hearts. Our hearts are all broken, paralyzed by sin. This one leper understood what had happened and Who Jesus is. Leprosy was a picture of man’s sinful condition. The physical healing was a picture of the miracle of Calvary. He bore my sins as well as my sicknesses in His body on the cross. Only one leper got the real miracle, the miracle of a thankful heart. Here is how Matthew Henry describes it.
“How rich Christ is in doing good: Were there not ten cleansed? Here was a cure by wholesale, a whole hospital healed with one word’s speaking. Note, There is an abundance of healing cleansing virtue in the blood of Christ, sufficient for all his patients, though ever so many. Here are ten at a time cleansed; we shall have never the less grace for others sharing it. How poor we are in our returns: “Where are the nine? Why did not they return to give thanks?” This intimates that ingratitude is a very common sin. Of the many that receive mercy from God, there are but few, very few, that return to give thanks in a right manner (scarcely one in ten), that render according to the benefit done to them. How those often prove most grateful from whom it was least expected. A Samaritan gives thanks, and a Jew does not. Thus many who profess revealed religion are out-done, and quite shamed, by some that are governed only by natural religion, not only in moral value, but in piety and devotion.”
The Samaritan was a picture of the unchurched crowd today. Often the lost get it sooner than church folks, Christ died to save sinners. When you see it you too will receive the heart of Thanksgiving.