“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 17:15,16).
Saying “thank you” is such an important part of the christian life. It completes the cycle of giving and receiving. (My dad likes to say the christian life consists of saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry”. We’ll save the “I’m sorry” part for another day!). For now, we’ll focus on the “thank you” part. Where were we? Ahhh, yes, until one expresses heartfelt thanks, the transaction of giving and receiving remains incomplete or open-ended. But when someone says, “thank you”, it’s like placing a period at the end of a statement; without it, it remains to be a fragment. But when Jesus does something, he does not leave it half-done. He does the job. He expects us to do ours. Sometimes, our job is to say “thank you” In this passage, Jesus heals 10 lepers, but only 1 came back to express his thanks. Jesus blessed him for returning, for placing a period on the statement of healing, deliverance, and wholeness. Saying “thank you” says a lot about the person. Just the other day, my son celebrated his 9th birthday. As he tore through the gift bags at his birthday party, he moved from one gift to the other…and on to the next, forgetting what he had just opened not 10 seconds earlier. Then, when they were all opened, his little heart began to daydream as to how he would be playing with his new toys. He was ready to move on. Kids are that way sometimes, if we allow them to be. But before he ran off to play with his new toys, he went around the group and said “thank you”. Good boy, Judah. Jesus is proud of you!