He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
We all know what it means to be unappreciated. A loving mother is hurt when a delicious meal she has prepared for her family is taken for granted. A worker is disappointed when his initiative and extra effort go unnoticed by his supervisor. A friend feels used when her help isn’t acknowledged.
During his teaching ministry Jesus was often unappreciated too. In today’s verses we read of Jesus healing ten men who had the disease of leprosy, for which sufferers became outcasts. Leprosy made people “unclean,” and doctors had no cure for it. Jesus sent the men to the priests so they could be declared “clean” and become part of their community again. But only one of the ten came back to thank Jesus. In a gesture of humility, “he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” The other nine simply got what they wanted from Jesus and moved on.
It’s ironic that the only grateful person was a Samaritan. The Jews viewed Samaritans as greatly inferior, both physically and spiritually. But this foreigner genuinely praised God while the others went their own way.
When we call out to Jesus for his grace and mercy, he saves us. But then what do we do? Do we go about our lives forgetting the Savior? Or do we throw ourselves before him, thanking and praising him?
Father, thank you for teaching us about the spiritual dangers of an ungrateful heart. May we be reminded by your Spirit again and again of the salvation you have given us in Christ. Amen.
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