Luke 17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
It is of interest the that of the ten lepers who were healed, the spotlight falls on the one who returned to Jesus to give thanks. Even more interesting is that one line ‘ he was a Samaritan’. I pondered a fair bit on why the extra effort to tell us where he came from. Why did we need to know this?
For a bit of context, Samaria was sandwiched between Galilee up north and Jerusalem down south. The shortest route between those two cities was through Samaria and many Jews would rather take a longer detour than take this course. So while other reasons are not clearly provided, we can say ‘the Jews and Samaritans were not on the friendliest of terms’.
Yes there was a conflict between the Jews and where the leper came from. Yes, Jesus who healed him was a Jew, someone he should not be on friendly terms with. However, he does not let those social constraints define the gratitude that poured from his heart. The leper was indeed a Samaritan, but his gratitude to Jesus was not to be limited by ethnic boundaries.
That beloved, was mental transformation and an expression of superior belief systems that went beyond what society would have expected. Often times the expectation even as Christians, is for us to conform to certain existing social and global norms. It takes a real conviction and focused view on the template for our living, Jesus, to rise above those systems.
Does every action of yours seek only to conform to the norms of the group to which you belong?
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