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. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:15-19)
“Wait. I trace back. Hadn’t Jesus already completely healed him? Exactly like the other nine who were cured who hadn’t bothered to return and thank Him. So what does Jesus mean, “Your faith has made you well”? Had I under-interpreted this passage, missed some hidden mystery? I slow down and dig. I read Jesus’ words in Young Literal Translation, “and [Jesus] said to him, ‘Having risen, be going on, thy faith has saved thee.’” Saved thee? I dig deeper. It’s sozo in the Greek. Many translations render sozo as being made “well” or “whole,” but its literal meaning, I read it-“to save.” Sozo means salvation. It means true wellness, complete wholeness. To live sozo is to live the full life. Jesus came that we might live life to the full; He came to give us sozo. And when did the leper receive sozo-the saving to the full, whole life? When he returned and gave thanks.
Our very saving is associated with our gratitude.
Is that it? Jesus counts thanksgiving as integral in a faith that saves. We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.
Thanksgiving is inherent to a true salvation experience; thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life.”
- Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts