“One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.” Luke 17:15
When a particular story comes up three times in one week, I have to take notice. Such was the case with the story found in Luke 17:11-19, of the ten lepers who were healed. It begins with Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. The destination was set, but healing happened along the way. I have seen this in my own life. Heaven is the aim, but much takes place in the in between. Also, I have watched how the Lord uses circumstances in my daily life to bring much healing and encouragement. Seems like He is always shining His light on areas that need healing to be whole again, to be returned to the original design. This causes me to praise Him when I have eyes to see.
As Jesus was traveling by, “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!” (verses 12-13). Because of their disease, they could not be in contact with others, even Jesus. Even from a distance, they recognized Jesus for who He is. The response of our Savior is beautiful. “When He saw them, He said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (verse 14). Friend, if you have ever felt the eyes of Jesus on you, you are never the same. He sees all of our disease, our sin, and desires healing. The condition that separates us from Jesus is true for every human, but God has made a way for us to be eternally healed. When our high priest, Jesus, “who has become a high priest forever” (Hebrews 6:20) sees us, what do you think He sees? Because of the death on the cross and the resurrection from the grave, payment for our sin, through faith we are now seen as healed in God’s sight. Another word would be righteous.
Now back to the lepers. “As they went, they were cleansed.” (verse 14). No questions are recorded, just obedience. Then something remarkable happens. “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…” (verses 15-16). Why did only one return? Why do so few of us share the good news of Jesus after we are healed? Do we praise God with a loud voice and fall at His feet in worship? I must confess, I sometimes remain silent or focus on what is still troubling me. Jesus wondered why only one of the ten returned, but offered kind words to the one at His feet. “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (verse 19). I want to be the one at the feet of Jesus.
I love the details given in these few verses. The lepers cried out for pity in a loud voice and the healed man used the same loud voice for praise of Jesus. Have you done the same? When you know you have been forgiven and accepted, do your words change to praise? Do you long to hear our Savior say, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”? Funny thing how Jesus brings up faith here, because just a few verses earlier, “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). He gives them such a visual example with the healing of the lepers. When we see the power of Jesus, our faith is increased. He is the One who can truly heal and in doing so, increase our faith before our very eyes.
So, what is our response going to be? We have some choices to make, don’t we? The first would be, do you want to be healed? Do you want to believe and accept healing for your sin? Do you believe that God created you, sin separated you and God sent His One and only Son to pay the debt we owe because of our sin? “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). Friend, it is not that complicated, but the cry must come from your mouth. Jesus is passing by today, call out to Him and be saved. What are you waiting for?
For those who have already accepted this gift, let us use our voices today and around our Thanksgiving tables. May words of praise and gratitude flow like gravy and be as sweet as pumpkin pie. Our words matter and can completely change the atmosphere in a room. Be the one that returns thanksgiving because of healing and eternal life received. Our sin is cleansed and we are healed!! This is good news and others need to hear it. I do not know who will be in your gatherings on Thursday, but I pray they hear you praising our Lord. May your faith increase and bold words that shine with His grace and mercy bring healing around your tables.
*Recently, one of our daughters had some friends over. I looked out and saw them praying before dinner. These same girls had just moments before gathered in the kitchen and were each sharing with me their favorite Bible verses. Made me smile and give thanks to the Lord.