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… Luke 17:15-16 (NIV)
One day, while Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, ten men with leprosy approached Him. In those days, leprosy was deadly. Once the disease had invaded your body, there was no getting well again. Therefore, laws were made that if you had the disease, you could not get close to anyone who was disease-free.
However, when the ten lepers begged Jesus to show them pity, He had compassion on them and healed them. He then told them to go show themselves to the rulers so they could be reinstated into society. As they went on their way, just one of them turned back to thank Jesus.
The other nine continued on their way, not bothering to stop and thank Jesus, even though they had been healed as well. Only this man chose to return to Jesus. He made a conscious decision to stop, turn around, and say thanks. In fact, the Bible says when he came back, he was “praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him” (Luke 17:15).
This wasn’t a simple, obligatory thanks. It was the pure joy and gratitude of a man who realized he has been rescued from a hopeless situation. He was transformed from a man who was facing certain death to man who could embrace life.
In a sense, people who place their trust in Jesus for salvation are a lot like the leper. They were facing certain eternal death, but now they have a new lease on life and the hope of heaven.
I want to be like Leper #10. Though his outlook was hopeless, Jesus gave him the wonderful gift of new life, and this former leper turned it into an opportunity to praise God and worship Him.