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 – and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16
We see Jesus encounter a group of men with leprosy in Luke 17. Leprosy at this time made one an outsider immediately. Lepers were considered unclean and forced to separate themselves from everyone, including their families. This story starts out with the lepers yelling to Jesus from a distance. Seeing them, Jesus shifts his attention to them and implies they will be healed on their way to the priests. The lepers are all healed, but only one of them (a Samaritan) returned to Jesus to thank him and praise God for his healing.
This short encounter teaches us a lot about Jesus and ourselves. We’ll dive deeper this week into this story to learn from Jesus and the leper who returned. We will reflect on God’s view of the outsider, how God meets us along the way when we are pursuing him and God’s heart toward those far from him. For today, let’s consider the connection between thanksgiving and praise. Jesus seems surprised by the nine lepers who did not return to give thanks, yet often we are like these other nine. It’s easy for us to get busy with life and miss the enormous blessings from God.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider the blessings God gives you and confess in prayer where you may be slow to praise or thank him. Pray something like this, “God, thank you for your blessings towards me. As I look back, I can see how you have been involved in my life and showered me with blessing. Yet, I am often slow to recognize it. Please forgive me and grow in me a heart of gratitude and praise. Thank you for loving me despite my faults. Amen.”
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
May is SECRECY. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.