Luke 17:11-19: “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 and they lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, ‘Go show yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ 19 And he said unto him, ‘Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.’”
Maybe you don’t know about leprosy. It is a disease that attacks the flesh with great sores that eat away whole hunks of a person’s skin and muscle. It particularly eats away the fingers and toes, the nose and the ears, and even when one is healed from the leprosy, the remaining effects are obvious. When the ten lepers were cleansed, the sores dried up and went away, but the effects of the disease were left; the missing digits, the holes in their faces and bodies. They had to be declared ceremonial clean by the priests.
But when that one, a Samaritan, came back, Jesus had a different message for him. Because he came back to give thanks, He said, “Get up and go home (you don’t have to go to the priests). Your faith has made you whole.” I’m thinking He meant, “Because you realize Who it is who healed you, and you gave thanks for the cleansing, your body is restored to wholeness.” (All the fingers and toes and holes grew back, as if he had never been sick.)
And that’s what happens to us, when we truly understand Who heals and Who redeems, and we demonstrate our understanding and our faith by our praise and gratitude, we too are restored to wholeness inside and out. Like it says in Joel 2:25, “I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten.”