Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? Luke 17:18
Hansle Parchment was in a predicament. He caught the bus to the wrong place for his semifinal in the Tokyo Olympics and was left stranded with little hope of getting to the stadium on time. But thankfully he met Trijana Stojkovic, a volunteer helping out at the games. She gave him some money to take a taxi. Parchment made it to the semifinal on time and eventually clinched the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdle. Later, he went back to find Stojkovic and thanked her for her kindness.
In Luke 17, we read of the Samaritan leper who came back to thank Jesus for healing him (vv. 15–16). Jesus had entered a village where He met ten lepers. All of them asked Jesus for healing, and all of them experienced His grace and power. Ten were happy that they’d been healed, but only one returned to express his gratitude. He “came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him” (vv. 15–16).
Every day, we experience God’s blessings in multiple ways. It could be as dramatic as an answered prayer to an extended time of suffering or receiving timely help from a stranger. Sometimes, His blessings can come in ordinary ways too, such as good weather to accomplish an outdoor task. Like the Samaritan leper, let’s remember to thank God for His kindness toward us.
What can you thank God for today? How can you cultivate a heart of gratitude?
Dear God, You’ve been so good to me. I give thanks to You today for __________________________.
Luke 17:15 notes that only one of the ten lepers healed by Jesus returned to give thanks, and he was a Samaritan—a foreigner (v. 18). The word translated “foreigner” (allogenḗs) is a compound word that means “from another race.” Though it’s used a number of times in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), it’s used only here in the New Testament (see OT passages like Genesis 17:27; Exodus 12:43; Leviticus 22:10). The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament notes that this is “the same term that appears on the inscriptions found on the balustrades surrounding the temple warning that ‘no alien’. . . may go beyond this point and will suffer the penalty of death if they are caught doing so.” While restricted by religious protocols from specific areas of the temple, those who were considered outsiders weren’t barred from God’s saving and healing mercy.