Today's Reading: Luke 17:11-19
"Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."(Luke 17:18-19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The story of the Ten Lepers is not a lesson in good manners. Of course we should give thanks to God for all that He gives us. But, what happens here is not that nine lepers forgot to mind their manners and say “Thank You” while the Samaritan did.
Rather, this story teaches us faith. Faith trusts in the Lord and receives and says “Amen” to His gifts. When the tenth leper comes back it is not simply to say “Thank You” it is to say “Amen,” that is, “This Jesus is the One who has healed me and is Lord and saves me from my sins.”
Notice that Jesus doesn't say, “How come only one came back to say 'thanks.'” Rather, He says, “Was there only one who came back to GIVE GLORY” to God? To “give glory” doesn't mean to heap praise upon Jesus. Jesus isn't glorified when we tell Him how great He is. Rather, He is glorified when He does the Father's will and gives His life for us sinners on Calvary to make us clean in Him. We, who are afflicted with the leprosy of sin, are made clean by His Word.
To glorify Jesus, then is not simply to tell Him what a great guy He is or to say “Thank You” as if we're trying to prove we have good manners. To glorify God is to receive by faith what gifts He has for us and to confess that with Jesus there are always more gifts! The Samaritan leper came back to Jesus because He knew, by faith, that Jesus had more gifts for him! So we, in faith, glorify God by living in the gift of our Baptism, saying “Amen” to the absolution of our sins and eating and drinking Jesus' body and blood. That is to show ourselves to the Priest, to Jesus, who takes away our sins and makes us clean forever in Him. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Paschal Lamb, Your off'ring, finished Once for all when You were slain, In its fullness undiminished Shall for evermore remain, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Cleansing souls from ev'ry stain; cleansing souls from ev'ry stain. (LSB 534:3)