Daily Devotion – November 17, 2017

Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’
Reflection by Janet Derby

Don’t you wonder if Jesus was tempted to “unheal” the nine who did not return and give praise to God? Really, just a little gratitude would be appreciated. All were clean, but the thankful one was also made well. Though I noticed something as I read the story this week. The ten were made clean and healed of their affliction. Still, Jesus tells the foreigner that his faith had made him well. Is that different from being healed? I think it may be. A while ago, I listened to a podcast concerned dealing with loss. The participants discussed the idea that there is a difference between being cured of the brokenness that comes from loss and being healed. Once that loss occurs, we will not ever be the same, scars will persist, but we can move forward from it. Perhaps that’s what Jesus was telling this man. While the nine may have been made clean, the one who gave thanks was truly made well. His recognition of God’s grace and his gratitude were going to allow him to fully appreciate his healing. The others – who knows – may have continued to feel bitter about the years they had endured the disease and the ostracism that had come with it. In this season of thanksgiving, we might do well to emulate the leper who returned and gave praise to God. We might try to let go of past hurts and resentment and trust that God will make us well.

Healing God,
Help us to recognize our many blessings that come from you and live with grateful hearts. Amen.  


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