Giving Thanks

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!

14 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. So thankful for the Lord’s sovereign hand in our lives. Praising our merciful Shepherd for His hand in your successful surgery. Prayers continue for your healing, brother Mike.

    To those who have not yet come to repentant faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior– May the Lord call you to Himself today- amen.
    2 Cor. 5:21


  2. I praise and thank our God for doing all things well for you, Mike… and pray He’ll continue to fill you with wisdom in how you use your body for His purposes!


  3. In everything give thanks! We as christians are blessed to be able to give thanks in every situation, we are blessed to find treassure in the worst of times, we can find joy in our afflictions because of what He bore on the cross for us. We have SO MUCH to be thankful for. I’m glad your surgery went well Mike.



  4. Praise God for His wonderful graciousness towards you and towards all His children!! I understand fully your exultation and gratefulness and I rejoice with you!!


  5. My 13 year old son gets headaches when he is physically active. Tomorrow he has an MRI.
    I will have my day under the knife on June 8th for a torn meniscus in my knee.
    My daughter must have more follow up “female tests” when she returns from her midwest christian college next month.
    My good friend in the Lord from Fla. just found out he has non-hodgskins lymphoma.
    My wife is a 2 time breast cancer survivor.
    We lost her mother, father and sister to cancer over the past 10 years.
    We lost my mother, and younger brother to cancer also during that time. Actually my brother beat the non-hodgkins lymphoma, plus the deadly virus that many get, then lived nearly 10 years but his heart finally gave out. He never stopped living.
    The point is not the tribulation, but the Lord who sees us through the fires. Many are delivered like Daniel and Shadrach, Mieshak, and Abednego. others are delivered like the “Roman Candle” martyrs, yet our Lord is in control in all these events. There will naver be a first person let down by our Lord. That is why I praise Him, regardless of my will, for I want His will here on earth just like there in heaven!
    We rejoice with you, my brother inthe Lord’s Work!


  6. Amen Mickey, Christ’s reign and His protection of us does not guarantee that we ill not face hardship, trials, and suffering as long as this present sinful order exists. He has promised that suffering will be our lot until His return (2 Timothy 2:3). As is obvious in the demonstration of your faith and all those who persevere through these fires, we can be confident on account of our Saviour’s reign and because of that, we will be vindicated on the last day, proving that our suffering for His sake is never in vain.


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