“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” – Luke 17:15-19
Ten unclean lepers cleansed, but only one was made whole. It is interesting that not every one that Jesus healed was made whole. The word translated to “whole” in this text in the original Greek was “sode’-zo“. It literally means “to be saved; to be delivered from the penalties of Messianic judgment; to be preserved from damnation“. This is were we get the term of “saved” when we refer to one who has been redeemed by faith in Christ Jesus. In fact it is the same word used in Ephesians 2:8 when it says that we are “saved” (sode’-zo) by grace through faith. In our opening passage, ten were touched by Jesus, and ten were cleansed, but only one was saved because only one glorified God in faith believing that He was who He said He was. He fell at Jesus’s feet in humility and worshiped Him as God. He believed Jesus and His faith made him whole, not just healed, but whole.
Many people believe in God like the 9 did, many people get touched by God like the 9 did, some people even get cleansed by God like the 9 did, but few are they that actually believe God like the 1 did, few are they that thank and worship God in all things like the one did, and few are they that openly glorify God with their lives, service, and humility like the one did. Therefor, broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that find it, and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that enter in. (Matthew 7:13-14)
You see, the problem is that though many believe in God, few actually believe God. It is not just our faith in who He is that saves us, many believe in His existence including Satan and the demons, it doesn’t save them. Many believe in what He’s done, like the 9 many have seen the hand of God work in miraculous ways and believe that He did it, but that still doesn’t save them. They have to do more then just believe in God, they have to do more then just believe in what He has done, they have to actually believe Him. They have to believe what He says and act upon it in faith in both word and action, for true faith will drive you to action that God might be glorified in the world of the living.
Like the woman with the issue of blood and so many others in scripture, true faith in God, who He is, what He had done, and what He said drove her to take action and press through the crowd at great risk to her very life just for the one moment in His presence. Like the Samaritan leper, she humbled herself before God and her faith made her whole, not just healed, but whole.
“But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” – Mark 5:33-34