What is the proper response to being healed, whether spiritually or physically? Good question. Part of the issue is that our response is highly affected by our attitude. When coming into the Christian Faith, we can be in danger of pride and works being the basis of the response to the acts of God. It is a very destructive place to be when living in a community that takes seriously a relationship with a God who is the source of all the things, even healing. For a lesson, let’s turn to Scripture.
In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus heals a group of Lepers. It’s a strange crew that is outcast from society. Among the Jewish lepers is a Samaritan leper. A little history first. Samaritans are already outcasts in the Jewish world. To put this simply, this one Samaritan leper was an outcast among outcasts. Despite their common fate of leprosy there was probably a lingering assumption among the Jewish lepers that he was still a hated Samaritan. The Jewish people thought their ethnic religious identity made them better and more acceptable in God’s eyes.
In that context, Jesus heals all of the lepers.
Also in that context, the Samaritan is the only one who returns to thank Jesus.
And in this context, all the now made clean and religiously acceptable Jews do not think twice about returning.
In desperation, the Samaritan turns to an open Jesus. Jesus did this because he was the King of even of the outcasts. The Samaritan knew it and turned back to Christ. He did not have a temple to return to. He only had the man who healed him. When it came to thanking and praising the Jewish Messiah, the one Samaritan did more than the other Jewish men even thought of doing. This is quite the metaphor for learning the proper posture when healed. We, broken people were healed, and yet, what is our posture?
Jesus offers healing to those who are broken, even if not accepted by the standard religious institution. We were all originally broken. Once we entered into the body of Christ, some of our assumptions of ourselves were higher than they should have been. If you have ever assumed that you had enough faith, God loved you more, or even that your decision is what saved you, then you must reconsider. We are called not to remember the acts of humanity or ourselves, but of God, and specifically God as found in Christ.
We should be humble and realize that our own religion is not power, but an expression of gratitude to God. The power is God’s Spirit in our Church and in our hearts. When worship in our communities and read our Bible, we should begin to focus our hearts on the one whom the Scriptures have glorified. When we do that, we will see a humble yet joyful Spirit enter our hearts. We will see Christ as the Samaritan saw him, powerful and mighty to save the broken, defeated, and oppressed.
What is your posture before the Redeemer? Do you see yourself or Christ as the Savior? Are you willing to release the pride and control of considering yourself greater than Christ?