One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. – Luke 17:15-16
Regardless of the team, it’s easy to pick out the stars. They’re often a foot taller and more physically developed than the other players. They play with confidence and the game seems to come natural to them. All too often, they’re the ones looking up in the stands hoping to win the approval of over-zealous parents or admiring friends. We live in a world that loves stars and the highlights they create. Successful coaches appreciate the skills of a star player, but they also realize the importance of the other players on the team. Sometimes we call them glue-athletes, who have the ability to hold the team together through the thick and thin of a season. Often we don’t fully realize their value until they’re no longer in the program. There will always be a place for the role player who helps create that perfect team chemistry. We admire their passion for the game and their willingness to do whatever the coach asks. They’re truly thankful to be a part of the team.
Luke tells a story about ten lepers that reminds us Jesus sees value in everyone. By Jewish law, lepers were told to keep their distance from everyone else. If that wasn’t bad enough, one of the ten was a Samaritan, which made him despised in every way by the Jewish population. In the eyes of the people, these men were impure physically and spiritually. They were outcasts and looked down upon. In the eyes of Jesus however, they were much more. When they cried out for mercy, Jesus healed them—even the Samaritan. Luke goes on to tell us that only one of the ten returned to thank Jesus for his compassion. That one man was the Samaritan, the least of all in the eyes of the Jews. How do you see others? Is it with human eyes that judge and compare or is it with the eyes of Jesus, who sees value and worth in every person.
Open my eyes Lord to see as You see. Help me to see value and worth in everyone with whom I have contact today. Amen.