In our daily devotionals, we are focusing on the acts of the supernatural power of the Lord Jesus when He walked on earth. In our passage today, we read about the kind of faith that pleases God. We're not talking about faith in faith—that has nothing that will please the true God. Faith in God and the One He has sent is what pleases the heart of God (John 6:29; Hebrews 11:6).
11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:11-19).
Lepers were commanded to stay at a distance outside the city and community and either ring a bell or cry out, “unclean, unclean,” when a person came near them (Leviticus 13:45-46). The only way they could re-enter the community and social network inside the city was to receive the all-clear stamp of approval from the priest (Leviticus 14:2).
Verse 12 tells us that the ten lepers stood at a distance shouting to Christ to pity them. It’s interesting to see that Jesus required them to act upon His Word and do what a cured leper would do even though they were not healed yet. He asked them to take steps of faith and trust His Word. Jesus didn't lay hands on them, even though He had healed lepers before by touching them (Luke 5:13). The Lord didn't give them instruction as to why they were to go to the priest. He told them to present themselves to the priest to get checked out. This required faith in His Word because they were not yet healed. The Lord healed them of their leprosy as they journeyed to the priest. As they started their journey, it must have seemed illogical to them to go and get a healing certificate from the priest with their faces and limbs contorted with leprosy. To some people, faith in God seems illogical. One of the 10 was a Samaritan, a person the Jews typically disdained, but those kinds of things matter less when you are suffering.
What do you think was on the mind of the Samaritan as he started on the way to see the Jewish priest? Could he have been a little bit suspicious of Jesus? He knew Jesus was a Jew by His clothes. At what point did the miracle of healing happen? The wonder of wonders! As they were on their journey of obedience, imagine their surprise to find that, as they are walking, their fingers start to grow, their toes suddenly begin to fill their shoes, and they felt the skin on their faces become soft and their noses growing out again! One of them, the Samaritan, was ecstatic with praise to God and could not contain himself. He left the company of the others, for he had to find Jesus and thank Him. This man ran back, and when he saw Christ, he knew how to give thanks. He gave full vent to his emotions and shouted his praise to God (v. 15). He approached Jesus and threw himself on the ground (v. 16), lavishly screaming praise. He acted according to His belief and trust in Jesus' Word, and he saw the power of God at work in his life as a result. His thankfulness must have warmed the heart of the Lord! Let’s never forget to thank God for all He does for us.
Let me issue you a challenge: Think of a situation in your life that needs resolution; it may be an impossible thing for you but dare to believe that God can work through your simple faith. Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:4). Call out to Him and ask Him for faith to believe that He will accomplish what you ask of Him. Then praise Him, loudly! Keith Thomas