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.