A Grateful Samaritan

Michael Wilcock

READ : Luke 17:11-19

None [giving] praise to God except this foreigner. (v. 18)

Satan as the great Destroyer, Jesus as the universal Mender: when we grasp those two facts, many puzzles in our world begin to make sense. Even so, we need also to grasp how complicated some of these puzzles are, especially when the roles seem to be reversed. Satan mending and Jesus destroying? Can that be true?

This group of lepers shows the rift between Jew and Samaritan healed, but in a horrible way. What brings them together is the leprosy inflicted by Satan, the author of all human misery. By now healing these men, Jesus exposes their hearts: one that recognizes the love and power of God in Christ, and nine that don’t. By doing this Jesus opens a new rift, between believer and unbeliever. So in a sense, Jesus has destroyed the unity and solidarity of this little group, although it was only a fellowship of death. He brings not peace, but a sword.

And the incident ties in with Luke’s great theme, for the true believer is the outsider, the Samaritan. The nine—some, if not all of them, Jews—enter joyfully into physical health, and go away quite uncommitted to the Giver of it.

Faith in Christ transcends all human divisions and boundaries, leaving outside only those who won’t have it.

PRAYER

Thank you for another Samaritan who is an example to us!