Lessons from a Samaritan Leper

“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed. 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 17:11-16

In Jesus’ day, it was a really bad lot to be a leper. Even if you didn’t have full-blown leprosy, you could be deemed a leper and be outcast by society (like if you had dandruff or if your head was sunburned). Once a priest had declared someone a leper, they would be put in a colony and unable to go to synagogue, unable to marry and unable to be around their family. Lepers basically died to their old lives and were bound to new lives in abject poverty and social loneliness.

For the Jews, the only thing worse than being a leper was being a Samaritan. This “hybrid” people were hated because they were the historical result of the Assyrian invasion of Israel. As the murderous Assyrians married into Jewish families in the North, the Samaritan race was the result. This is what makes the story of the ten lepers so significant. Nine are Jewish and one is Samaritan. Jesus tells all of the men to go to Jerusalem and show themselves to the priest, but the Samaritan knows he’s not supposed to go to the temple. While he could have given up and stopped believing right then, he received the word from God and abandoned the outcome to Him. He didn’t know if he would be able to carry out Jesus’ command, but he decided to take Him at His word. He wasn’t feeling entitled to his miracle; He just wanted it enough to take a risk and believe that the Rabbi Jesus might love him and make a way for him, which indeed He did. When all ten men were healed, the Samaritan was the only one who returned to say “thank you” to Jesus. When the nine Jews were healed, they got what they expected, but when he was healed, he received a surprise. He believed against the odds with a faith that was rooted in hope, and his heart overflowed with gratitude.

Friends, like the Samaritan, you and I can be a magnet for miracles as we live full of gratitude, abandoning our outcomes to God and thanking Him without ceasing. A grateful heart opens the floodgates of Heaven.


Jesus, thank you working miracles in my life as I respond to you with a heart of gratitude.


How can you surrender entitlement and cultivate a heart of thankfulness?

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7 Responses

  1. By Just Being thankfulness & gratefulness by always praising & thanking the LORD GOD Almighty for all of the blessings He Had bestowed upon Us for that we I can be a Blessing to other people who are less fortunate & needy than ourselves

    1. Familiarity with JESUS made the Jews never returned to give thanks.So We Must avoid familiarity with God” .Worship Him CONSISTENT Gratitude.

  2. I have indeed never saw this story like I did from your perspective. It was read today I church and I decided to find out why the emphasis that ‘he was a Samaritan ‘. Thank you for this exposition. It has indeed added to my understanding of this story.

  3. I am so thankful to God for setting me free from drugs and alcohol he forgave me of my sins and cleanse me and put his Holy Spirit to live in me . What a mighty God we serve

  4. This story is an eye opener in our daily lives. The Samaritan who came back was healed and saved. Most people are healed from their sickness but not saved. This verse encourages believers to be healed and saved

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