• Ps Stephen

People's Encounters with Jesus #4: Priority of Praise

As we invite Jesus into our lives and spaces of darkness, may there be new outpourings of praise.

Luke 17:11-19


Our self-focus, our busyness, and our self-reliance can often rob us from “seeing Jesus and his hand at work.”

I am a bit of a task-oriented person. Get one job finished and move onto the next. The downside of this mindset is that I don’t take time to reflect and give thanks. I have had to train myself on this over the years and I am still a work in progress. I thank God for people who help me slow down.


This story of the leper who returns is like a stop sign in the flow of the narrative. The healing takes place in a village in the border land between Samaria and Galilee - a place of danger and uncertainty. The group of lepers call out to Jesus to have pity on them. When Jesus saw them with their leprosy, he tells them to show themselves to the priest. As they went, they were healed.


Only one comes back whom Jesus identifies as a Samaritan—one who is a foreigner and an outcast in Jewish society. The Samaritan praises God in a loud voice, throws himself at Jesus’ feet, and thanks him (v15-16).


What stopped the Samaritan from continuing with the others who were heading off to the priest? The Samaritan “saw that he was healed” (v15). Our self-focus, our busyness, and our self-reliance can often rob us from “seeing Jesus and his hand at work.” Praise erupted out of the Samaritan in gratitude because he saw Jesus and his hand of healing. Humility and worship flowed as he prostrated himself before the Lord.


The priority of praise comes out of a recognition of Jesus’ love. He loves the outcast and the marginalised like the Samaritan. He also loves the hidden borderlands in our lives which need light and healing. As we invite Jesus into our lives and spaces of darkness, may there be new outpourings of praise.


God bless.


Pastor Stephen

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