In the ancient world, contracting leprosy would mean that person would be being ex- communicated, by his own community, from his own village. He was a dead man walking. He was barred from seeing his own family members. He had to shout 'unclean, unclean' in public places. Victims of the same disease banded together for survival. The ten lepers who lived at the margins Samaria and Galilee met Jesus, and pleaded with Him to have pity on them. Jesus had pity on them. He told them to go, and see the priest who would help to restore them to their original status. The request to go and see the priest was a tough one, because they yet not had proof of healing. What would they tell the priest if he asked for the proof. However, without the proof, the ten lepers obeyed Jesus, and that was how their incurable disease miraculously disappeared from them. On the way to see the priest, they realized that the leprosy had already left them. Their skins were clean and soft as if they had never been sick. One, and only one of them, returned to say thanks to God, and he was the foreigner, the Samaritan. The other nine were healed but they didn't return to give thanks to God. The one who returned to say thanks became Jesus' follower. He received both physical, and also spiritual healing as we heard Jesus said to him:
'Stand up and go your way'. Your faith has saved you'. v. 19.
The other nine received the physical healing but did not return to praise God. They took the healing for granted. It sounds weird but it is a common thing that happens daily. It is important to remember that both praying, and praising God are essential to our spiritual journey. For me, praising God takes the first place in worship because praying is pleading for our own needs; while praising is to give thanks for God's greatness. It is a way to show to the world how great our God is. It is not praying, but praising God is what we will do in God's kingdom. We need to practice it daily, right here now on earth, and that would help us to continue to do so in heaven. We are grateful for all things God has given us freely. It includes all of God's creations for us to enjoy, the sky and oceans, forests and waterfalls, flowers and sounds. The reality is that God loves each one of us more than we realize, and God has endowed us with many great things far more than we have ever asked for. God has given us essential things, when we don't even know what to ask for.
The ten lepers came to Jesus as they were: sick, dirty and with broken spirits. We, too, can come to Jesus as we are, well or unwell, happy or sad, clean or unclean. Having faith and love for Jesus opens our hearts to welcome God's grace and mercy. God's love and mercy carry compassion and the power of healing. It is not what we deserve, but out of God's compassion we are healed, and made whole. God's compassion is for all who call on Jesus. There is no exception.