Luke 17:18
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
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(18) Save this stranger.—The word for “stranger” means literally, a man of another race, an alien. It is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but is used in the LXX. of Isaiah 56:3. It was probably a term of contempt in common use among the Jews. (Comp. the kindred word “aliens,” with special reference to the Philistines, in Hebrews 11:34, and “one of another nation” in Acts 10:28.) It implied, as did the whole treatment of the Samaritans by the Jews. that the former were not recognised as being, in any sense, children of Abraham.

17:11-19 A sense of our spiritual leprosy should make us very humble whenever we draw near to Christ. It is enough to refer ourselves to the compassions of Christ, for they fail not. We may look for God to meet us with mercy, when we are found in the way of obedience. Only one of those who were healed returned to give thanks. It becomes us, like him, to be very humble in thanksgivings, as well as in prayers. Christ noticed the one who thus distinguished himself, he was a Samaritan. The others only got the outward cure, he alone got the spiritual blessing.Where are the nine? - Jesus had commanded them to go to the priest, and they were probably "literally" obeying the commandment. They were impatient to be healed and "selfish" in wishing it, and had no gratitude to God or their Benefactor. Jesus did not "forbid" their expressing gratitude to him for his mercy; he rather seems to reprove them for "not" doing it. One of the first feelings of the sinner cleansed from sin is a desire to praise his Great Benefactor; and a "real" willingness to obey his commandments is not inconsistent with a wish to render thanks to him for his mercy. With what singular propriety may this question now be asked, "Where are the nine?" And what a striking illustration is this of human nature, and of the ingratitude of man! One had come back to give thanks for the favor bestowed on him; the others were heard of no more. So now. When people are restored from dangerous sickness, here and there one comes to give thanks to God; but "where are the nine?" When people are defended from danger; when they are recovered from the perils of the sea; when a steamboat is destroyed, and a large part of crew and passengers perish, here and there one of those who are saved acknowledges the goodness of God and renders him praise; but where is the mass of them? They give no thanks; they offer no praise. They go about their usual employments, to mingle in the scenes of pleasure and of sin as if nothing had occurred. Few, few of all who have been rescued from "threatening graves" feel their obligation to God, or ever express it. They forget their Great Benefactor; perhaps the mention of his name is unpleasant, and they scorn the idea that they are under any obligations to him. Such, alas! is man, ungrateful man!

This stranger - This foreigner; or, rather, this alien, or this man of another tribe. In the "Syraic" version, "this one who is of a foreign people." This man, who might have been least "expected" to express gratitude to God. The most unlikely characters are often found to be most consistent and grateful. Men from whom we would expect "least" in religion, are often so entirely changed as to disappoint all our expectations, and to put to shame those who have been most highly favored. The poor often thus put to shame the rich; the ignorant the learned; the young the aged.

18. this stranger—"this alien" (literally, "of another race"). The language is that of wonder and admiration, as is expressly said of another exhibition of Gentile faith (Mt 8:10). See Poole on "Luke 17:17" There are not found that returned,.... Or it do not appear, that any have returned:

to give glory to God; for inasmuch as they did not return to give thanks to Christ, and acknowledge him the author of their cure and cleansing they did not give glory to God:

save this stranger; for so the Samaritans were reckoned by the Jews, even as the Gentile, aliens from the commonwealth, of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise. Christ speaks in the language and dialect of the nation, and yet we find sometimes, that, "a Cuthite", or a Samaritan, is distinguished from, "a stranger", Or a Gentile: they might set up their beasts in the inns of the Samaritans, but not in the inns of "strangers"; and a man might let out his bath to a Samaritan, but not to a "stranger" (b); but this must be understood of them in times past, before they were found out to be idolaters; when, as Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says (c), they were as Israelites in all things, and kept the law and the precepts of it, and even more exactly than the Israelites themselves did (d); but afterwards a Samaritan was reckoned a Gentile, and so he was in the times of Christ; and therefore he calls a Samaritan a stranger: that tradition of the Jews, requires some notice and consideration (e); all are defiled

"with leprosies, except "strangers", and the proselyte of the gate.''

And yet here is a stranger among the Jews, and reckoned unclean, on account of leprosy, and sent with them to show himself to the priest.

(b) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 15. 2. & 21. 2.((c) T. Hieros Shekalim, fol. 46. 2.((d) Maimon. in Misn. Beracot, c. 8. sect. 8. & Bartenora in ib. c. 7. sect. 1.((e) Misn. Negaim, c. 3. sect. 1. Maimon. Tumaot Tzaraot, c. 9. sect. 1.

There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
Luke 17:18. οὐχ εὑρέθησαν, etc., best taken as another question (so R.V[136]).—ἀλλογενὴς, here only, in N.T.; also in Sept[137] =ἀλλόφυλος and ἀλλοεθνής in classics, an alien. Once more the Jew suffers by comparison with those without in respect of genuine religious feeling—faith, gratitude. It is not indeed said that all the rest were Jews. What is certain is that the one man who came back was not a Jew.

[136] Revised Version.

[137] Septuagint.Luke 17:18. Οὐχ εὑρέθησαν, there have not been found) i.e. the nine have not been found.—ὑποστρέψαντες, who returned to give) A part of the Predicate. [In returning home from Jerusalem, it would have been but a slight deviation from their route to have repaired to Jesus; and yet they thought it too much trouble to go to Him.—V. g.]—δοῦναι, to give) They ought to have done so of their own accord.—ἀλλογενὴς, alien) who might seem to have been likely to have been benefited by the society of the rest, they being persons who were more bound to give thanks than he.
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