I wonder if I would have come back. Ten lepers - lepers who were outcasts to society, unable to be with family and friends - saw Jesus and from a safe distance exercised faith. Let's read the powerful passage together.
"It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you." Luke 17: 11-19
First thing that jumps out of the story to me is the fact that they kept their distance. In that day and age, those suffering with leprosy weren't allowed near clean people, so they stuck to protocol behind an invisible, uncrossable border. Faces pressed against it, hands up, they did the only thing they could; scream. Their plea mirrored their pain. If octaves equaled misery, theirs was a high C. Then after a 'good look at them' Jesus told them to go show the priests. Catch that? They figured they were keeping a safe distance, and yet Jesus got a good look at them. Wow. (I could get a full week of lessons from that one phrase). And then, it happened. On their way to see the priests, new skin. Fingers replaced nubs. Faces filled voids. Thoughts of holding children and kissing wives ran through their minds.
Now, one of them did what I hope I would do. He stopped. Wait a second, he thought. I cried, He cared. I moaned, He gave mercy. I have to go back.
And here's another great moment for me in this story. He came back shouting his praise. He figured if his suffering called for screaming, his healing called for hollering. But this time, no barrier. No outer marker. No holding pattern. He was clean and he knew it - and getting close to the One that made him that way was his default reaction. Like I said in the beginning, I wonder if I would have gone back.
For Discussion: I've moaned in pain over the years, and I know many of you have too. Did my praise of His healing mirror my plea for His help? Did yours? Well, we don't know exactly how far the healed man traveled before turning back to thank Jesus, but I do know it's not too late for you and me to do the same. Let's take a second right where we are and thank Jesus for getting a good look at us. If you have a praise you'd like to share with everyone, please share it in the comments section below. If you'd like to keep it private and yet raise your hand, just say "Unspoken" and we'll celebrate with you.