Luke 17:11-19 (ESVST)
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “ Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “ Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus ‘feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “ Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem in verse 11 above and he passed along between Samaria and Galilee. The bible says when he entered the village, he was met by ten lepers. Leprosy was an unattractive skin disease (not limited to what is called leprosy today) for which the Bible had prescribed quarantine from the rest of society (Lev 13:45- 46), although the Bible did not go so far as many Jewish teachers in blaming the disease on the leper’s sin. Lepers were thus outcasts from the rest of society, the kind of people most healthy people preferred to ignore.
These ten men stood at a distance because they were not allowed near people so, the only way the can communicate was by shouting to Jesus with a loud voice. They asked Jesus to have mercy on them. They referred to Jesus as master which means teacher as well. When Jesus saw them, he said to them “ Go and show yourselves to the priests.”. Jesus said this to comply to the law of Moses that requires a priest to declare a person clean or unclean from leprosy (Lev 13:2-3). The bible says in verse 14 above that as they went to the priests, they were cleansed or cleaned. The word cleansed is a Greek word “katharizo” meaning to make clean or purify.
g2511. καθαριζω katharizo; from 2513; to cleanse (literally or figuratively):— (make) clean (- se), purge, purify.
AV (30)- cleanse 16, make clean 5, be clean 3, purge 3, purify 3;
The only way for these men to be clean meant that the leprosy was healed. This means as they went to see the priest, they were healed and made clean as a result but still needed the priest to declare them clean.
15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus ‘feet, giving him thanks.
Only one of the ten lepers when he saw that he was healed, went back to Jesus, praising God with a loud voice and fell on his face at Jesus’s feet and gave thanks. He appreciated what Jesus had done for him. It is not clear how they were healed. Knowing how leprosy works will make you understand this point. When you have leprosy, you may loose parts of your body permanently. You may loose fingers, ears and so on. Now we don’t know wether when they were healed, everything was restored or the disease was only stopped. Whatever the type of healing, this man was extremely thankful and praising God for the healing. He did not complain to Jesus about why he had it in the first place or the amount of time he had lost being an outcast, he was just thankful for what just happened to him.
This man according to this verse 15 was a Samaritan. Now Samaritans were apart from leprosy treated as outcasts by the Jewish community. They were treated as such because of their intermarriages with pagans and adopting some of pagan religions. Jesus then asked in verses 17-18, why if there were ten men cleansed, that only one, a foreigner ( foreigner, because he was not a Jew), saw it necessary to come and give praise to God. The other nine men, simply went away and never returned.
19 And he said to him, “ Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
g4982. σωζω sozo; from a primary σωσ sos (contraction for obsolete σαοσ saos, “safe”); to save, i. e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively):— heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
AV (110)- save 93, make whole 9, heal 3, be whole 2, misc 3;
The word well, is a Greek word “sozo” which means to save or to make whole or to heal. It was used 110 times, 93 times as “saved”. Therefore we can say that the verse says, ” your faith has saved you”
Now, how different then was this saving from the cleansing. What did this man get, that the other men did not. I mean they were all healed. The only way for this man to could have come so close to Jesus as to lie face down on his feet, could only have meant that he was healed. If he was not, he would not have come that close. Let’s examine this a little bit more.
Matthew 9:22 (ESVST)
Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
This is the woman who had blood discharge from her body for along time and she believed that if she could only touch Jesus’s garment, she will be healed and after touching it, the above is what Jesus said to her. The same word “sozo” is used in this verse
Luke 7:50 (ESVST)
And he said to the woman, “ Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
This is a sinful woman who came to Jesus while he was eating with the Pharisees, weeping and wet Jesus’s feet with her tears, used her hair to wipe them off and kissed his feet and anointed them with oil. Jesus said to her that her sins were forgiven. And then in the above verse said that her faith has saved her. Again the same word “sozo” is used here.
Luke 18:41-42 (ESVST)
“ What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “ Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”
Again here a blind beggar who called to Jesus to help him see, was told that his faith has made him well. The same word here is used again “sozo”.
This clearly indicates to me that although all the ten men were healed or cleansed, only this Samaritan man who came back to praise God and give thanks, was healed and received salvation. The sinful woman who was kissing Jesus’s feet, Jesus told her that her sins have been forgiven and then said that her faith has saved you. So where there is forgiveness of sins only, faith saves you but where there is healing and forgiveness of sins, faith makes you well or makes you whole or complete. This means when you receive salvation, depending on what it finds in you, it will work as such. If you need healing, you will be healed if it is the will of God, if your sins needs to be forgiven, then they are wiped off clean and if whatever else you have, when you receive salvation, the Holy Spirit will work in you accordingly and according to the will of God.
Therefore all though all men were healed, only this one Samaritan men was healed and saved because he came back and praised and gave thanks to God, he showed not only that he wanted to just be healed but he wanted salvation and he was completely made whole. Healed and Saved.
So, giving thanks and praise to God shows faith or believe in God through Jesus and as a result, makes us whole or complete. It is a sign of that you recognize that only through Jesus, can you be saved. It is a sign that you recognize that you would not have been healed if it was not by God through Jesus. Let us be thankful and praise God at all times no matter what.