Luke 17:16-20

Luke 17:16 (KJB)
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Here is an interesting verse in that the one who came back to thank Jesus and give glory to God was a Samaritan. The other nine were Jews who did not even so much as thank Jesus for this life saving miracle in their lives. In fact the Samaritan was so thankful, that he fell on his face before Jesus. This was a position of worship and gave Him thanks. The Jews and the Samaritans were always at odds because the Jews saw them as inferior mongrels having the blood of the Assyrians in them. In fact, when Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, the Samaritans wanted to help but their help was rejected. (Ezra 4:3 KJV) But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Luke 17:17 (KJB)
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

Jesus was quick to point out that there were ten who were cleansed. He used a question to drive the point home. Then He asks another question about where are the other nine. Even though they were unthankful for their healing, that did not cause Jesus to rescind their healing. (2 Tim 2:13 KJV) If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. It is the same principle that when we are unfaithful, Jesus is still faithful and does not rescind our salvation. The healing of the Samaritan showed that the Gospel would someday go universal but for now it showed the Pharisees that Israel was soon going to lose its status as most favored nation because God will then be dealing with the entire world.

Luke 17:18 (KJB)
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

Then Jesus points out specifically that the other nine had not even given God the glory for their healing except this stranger. The Samaritan was called a stranger because they were not of the pure stock of Israel and had Gentile blood in their veins and for that reason they were called strangers. (Lev 17:8 KJV) And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, Those Gentiles who left Egypt with Israel were also called strangers. Jesus was also driving the point home that the Jews were a very unthankful lot thinking that they had rights to God and the land and it was their right to have them. He was basically pointing out the unthankful attitudes of the scribes and Pharisees.

Luke 17:19 (KJB)
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Then Jesus commands the Samaritan to go his way because the faith he had in Jesus had made him whole. In fact in the Greek, the words “made thee whole” can also be understood as “has saved you.” In the healing of this Samaritan, we have a beautiful picture of salvation. In the Bible, leprosy is used as a picture of a person who is ravaged by sin and in an unsaved state. Once Jesus healed him, he was able to have faith because he was made alive and that faith he now has in the Lord Jesus Christ has made him whole or saved him.  (See my study on Isaiah 1:18 concerning sins becoming white as snow at: )

Luke 17:20 (KJB)
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Then the Pharisees had quickly changed the subject. They had now demanded to know when the kingdom of God should come. The word “demanded” is a stronger word for “ask” which is the same type of response the authorities want when they “demand” an answer from a prisoner. The Pharisees like the rest in Israel were looking for a physical kingdom and even the disciples had hoped that Jesus was going to bring in the Kingdom of God. Jesus then gives them a reality that the Kingdom of God does not come with observation. It will not come in by any who observe the law nor will it come in by anyone who will be making close observances to the happenings. It would not come slowly by observing political movements which could seem to be progressive in nature. It will not be a political kingdom of any kind.