Now it happened as Jesus went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” - Luke 17:11-19
Leprosy was a terrible disease. Outside of the disfiguring physical effects, the social effects were even more disheartening. Lepers were completely ostracized from society. No one cared for them and they were forced to stay away from everyone else. You can even see that in the passage above in the fact when Jesus first saw the lepers, they "stood afar off". So, when this man realizes that he has been given a great gift, he immediately stops what he is doing to turn around and say "thanks". What a wonderful and appropriate thing to do.
I'm thankful that I live in a country that pauses for a day to say "thanks". And, we have so much to be thankful for. Sometime today, in between the parades and the football games and the turkey and the naps take a few minutes to list the things that you are thankful for. It will be a humbling and satisfying experience.
(The picture at the top of this page is of the Jezreel Valley and the Hill of Moreh from the tel at Jezreel. In the passage, it is mentioned that Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem in the midst of, or on the border of, Galilee and Samaria. While we do not know for sure exactly where Jesus was, it was probably in the general area of this picture. Just beyond the Hill of Moreh is the hills of Galilee and the mountains of Samaria rise behind the picture in the opposite direction. NOTE: If you are reading this post from an email, just click on the title and view this post from a webpage to see the picture.)