The Thankful Stranger


By Pastor J.D. Link

            I encourage you to read Luke 17:11-19.  This is a wonderful Thanksgiving story.  Lk 17:11  says, “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.”   Jesus walks in the midst of this earth, between Jew and Gentile, calling all to be reconciled to The Father through Him.  None are better than others.  All are sinners, in need of God’s forgiveness & salvation.

      Lk 17:12  “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off.”  Leprosy was a horrible, painful skin disease, which could result in losing body parts and terrible disfigurement.  Lepers were commanded by Levitical law to keep away from people, and to yell, “unclean, unclean!” (Lev 13:45-46).  The only fellowship they could have was with other lepers. This is a type of the sinner, or spiritual lepers.  We stand far off from God as defiled sinners.  We cannot come into His presence.  We must call on Jesus to be cleansed first; Then we can come boldly into the presence of our Holy Father (Heb 10:19-22).

      Lk 17:13  “And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

Notice, they lifted their voices.  Salvation is personal.  One cannot call on Jesus for others.  You can intercede for others, but they must call on Jesus themselves to be saved.  Also, the Jesus you call on must be Lord.  You must be ready to obey Him as Master.  “Have mercy on us”. They came humbly.  They appealed to His compassion and grace.  This is how you get cleansed from your sin.  You cannot come in pride, or with an entitlement attitude. We deserve nothing from God.  We call on His mercy, and The God who gracious and compassionate answers.

      Lk 17:14  “And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”  Jesus sees.  He sees our hearts.  He knows our needs.  Then He says, “Go”.  Faith is an action.  We must act on God’s Word, not debate it.  Against natural reason, they obeyed.  They stepped out in faith, and headed to the priest, like Naaman at Elisha’s command (2King 5:1-14).  They followed the order according to Jesus in accordance with Lev 14:2, though they saw nothing yet.  As they went, they were healed.  Believe and obey, and you shall see.  We will find our deliverance in doing according to Jesus’ word.

      Lk 17:15  “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God.”  Do we lift up our voice in praise, as loud as we do in prayer?  We should.  Because he was so grateful to Jesus, he turned back to Thank Him with a loud voice.  When you really understand how much God has done and how good He is, it causes you to shout His praises! 

      Lk 17:16  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Let us shout for the world to hear, that they may believe and give glory as well.

But, may we not forget in private, to fall on our faces humbly at the feet of Jesus, our God and Savior.  Public praise is not a replacement, but an addition to our private thanksgiving to God.

He was a Samaritan – he who is forgiven much loves much.  He was the greatest sinner among them, and a double outcast.


Luk 17:17  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

Jesus didin’t demand their thanks.  They should have brought it to Him of their own accord


Luk 17:18  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

bowing to Jesus and giving Him thanks is equivalent to giving glory to God, for Jesus is divine.

save this stranger – on average, do even one in ten of those who receive God’s benefits return to give him heartfelt thanks?  Do they give glory to Him who it is due?

Also, it is shameful that sometimes those who falsely worship God are more reverant and thankful than His own children.  This should never be.


Luk 17:19  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Thy faith – notice, it was Jesus’ power, but it was the Samaritan’s faith.  Faith grabs hold of the promises of God.

made thee whole – saved.  The others were cured, but the Samaritan was saved.  His sins were forgiven.  All men receive benefits from God, but only those that come and worship at the feet of Jesus are saved.


(Ps 92:1, 18:49, 105:1, 79:13, 35:18, 30:4, 97:12, 30:12, 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 118:29, 140:13 & 136)