“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 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. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:11-19, NIV).
This story is an enlightening story of Jesus healing ten men of a terrible disease. Jesus gave each man a clean bill of health. Nine appear ungrateful with only one returning to thank Jesus. The one person who returned to thank Jesus, throwing himself at Jesus’ feet, was the only person who was not a Jew in the whole bunch.
Nine Jews were willing to hang with this foreigner, a Samaritan, in sickness, but as soon as health was restored old prejudices returned. There is a lesson we can learn in this story that is often overlooked. Sickness humbles us, makes us less than whole, and we are then able to mingle with others we see as less than us. Christians need humility to cross racial, cultural, and social divides; and, Christians need humility to worship Jesus Christ, as pictured by the Samaritan. Pride is the trait that prevents Christians from associating with other cultures, races, and social group, and it prevents true worship of our Lord. Pride is a terrible sin. You will recall that God cast Lucifer out of heaven because of pride in the life of Lucifer, don’t let that same pride keep you out of heaven.
Ingratitude is not the cause of prejudices, but rather the result. Any Christian can excuse their prejudice by whatever excuse is acceptable, but excuses still reveals ingratitude and interferes with worship of Christ. Therefore, the next time you hear someone making an excuse for their church being a single race church because of music, style, or tradition, challenge their gratitude. Gratitude will bring a healed Samaritan to the feet of a Jewish Messiah in worship. This is a good, because in Scripture everyone is either a Jew or a Gentile.
Pour another cup of coffee, take a sip, and meditate on this with the Lord. Ask Jesus if there is a lack of gratitude in your heart. When thankfulness feels your being, prejudice will flee.