by Mike Ratliff
καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ· καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρίτης. (Luke 17:16 NA27)
and he fell on his face at His feet thanking Him and He was a Samaritan. (a personal translation of Luke 17:16 from the NA27 Greek text)
I woke up in the recovery room in the Ambulatory Surgery Center about 3pm CDT this afternoon. I noticed two things right away. I was cold and the place on my right arm the Orthopedic Surgeon had marked with his pen about two hours earlier was very sore. There was an ice pack on my right shoulder. There were tubes and wires running everywhere, but the only other person I saw was a nurse who asked me if wanted something to drink. I nodded and as she went to get some water, she offered me some Teddy Grahams as well. That sounded great and so the first words from my mouth in hours was my enthusiastic assent. I ended up eating two bags of those and drinking several cups of ice water. Of course, all of that was a test to see if was going to get sick from the anesthesia. Other than the sore spot on my shoulder and the cold from the ice pack, I felt great. I was already offering up my gratitude to my Lord for all He had done.
The big test came as I got dressed. Over the past several months, it has been becoming increasingly painful to put my right arm in those positions that are necessary to pull shirts on or off, et cetera. I had no problem whatsoever with it for the first time in over a year. There is still some tightness in there and things feel a bit strange in places as I move my arm around, but the Orthopedic Surgeon said that I should expect that and the P.T. that I am going to go through should address all of that. He wants me to use my arm as much as possible without going into “overuse” situations.
My brethren, I am writing this post from a heart full of gratitude foremost to my Lord and His healing hand and then to all of you and my family and friends at our Church who have prayed for this very thing. In the passage at the top of this post is a very familiar verse. Our Lord has just healed ten lepers, but only one returns to Him to give thanks and he is a Samaritan. The verb translated above as “thanking” is εὐχαριστῶν. This verb construction is a Present, Active, Participle, which means that it expresses continuous or repeated action, but the context of that action is relative to the main verb. What is the main verb? What was this fellow doing? We must return to v15 and the first part of v16 for our context. Here are vv15-16 from the NA27 followed by my translation.
εἷς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν, ἰδὼν ὅτι ἰάθη, ὑπέστρεψεν μετὰ φωνῆς μεγάλης δοξάζων τὸν θεόν, καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ· καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρίτης. (Luke 17:15-16 NA27)
And one of them, having seen that he was healed, returned with a loud voice glorifying God, and he fell on his face at His feet thanking Him and He was a Samaritan (a personal translation of Luke 17:15-16 from the NA27 Greek text)
What is the main verb? In v15 we have the man realizing that he was healed, “having seen” that he was healed, he “returned” with a loud voice glorifying God, and he “fell on his face” at His feet thanking Him. The continuous action was in the thanking after he fell at our Lord’s feet, but isn’t it amazing how God touched this man’s heart? He saw the healing hand of God in him and with no hesitation, he returned to our Lord full or praise, glorifying God from a grateful Heart, he would not stop praising and thanking our Lord. I think I understand that.
The verb used here that is translated as “thanking,” εὐχαριστῶν is a Present, Active, Participle of εὐχαριστέω or eucharisteō. It describes thanksgiving. In this passage, the Samaritan was continually thanking our Lord for the blessing of healing. We are to show the same gratitude to God for the gift of faith, our salvation by Grace, and for the fact of what awaits us in eternity because of the work of Christ on our behalf.
How grateful are you for the gift of salvation by grace through faith my brethren? All that is good that we have in Christ is from God. Let us rejoice in Him and express it in sacrifice of praise.
Soli Deo Gloria!