| |
Wonder (2-3)Year 1Unit 4 (Wonder About Jesus’ Loving Care)Session 5

Jesus and a Thankful Man

Session Introduction

We want to thank Jesus for every good thing he has given us.
Faith Nurture Goals
  • Reenact the Bible story.
  • Sense that the good things in our lives are gifts from God.
  • Express thanks to Jesus for specific gifts.
Memory Challenge
Leader Reflection: Preparing to Tell God's Story

This is a story that can be peeled back in layers, each one with a different slant.

Notice first that Jesus is again on the "border." It was characteristic of Jesus to be a border dweller, on the dividing line between Jew and Samaritan, "good people" and sinners, sick and the healthy, clean and unclean.

Then we note that ten men with leprosy appeal to Jesus for help. As many Bibles note, it was not necessarily leprosy but could have been almost any kind of skin disease. The Law of Moses stipulated that skin conditions rendered a person ritually unclean, and anyone who contacted them would become ritually unclean as well. Ritual uncleanness meant that the person was thrust out of their religious community. Usually such people formed their own small community of fellow unclean people, like these ten men.

Because the men were unclean, they kept their distance from Jesus, shouting at him to have mercy from afar. (In fact, we learn in Mark 1:41 that Jesus did touch a man with leprosy.) But in this case, Jesus merely told them to go to the priest. This was so that the priest could certify that they were clean and therefore fit to rejoin society.

It must have taken some faith for the men to do that, because the healing didn't take place until they were on their way to the priest. At some point along the way, they saw that they were healed, and they went on to see the priest, who gave them a clean bill of health. How glad they must have been to rejoin friends and family after years of being ostracized!

But one man turned right around to go back and thank Jesus as soon as he noticed that he was healed, before even going to the priest. He threw himself adoringly at Jesus' feet, overwhelmed with gratitude. And then Luke unloads the kicker: this man was a Samaritan.

Samaritans were mixed-breed people, Jews who remained after the Assyrian conquest of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the people who had been forced to relocate there from who knows where. They practiced a mixed religion, importing elements of their pagan practices with Jewish religion. The Jews despised them.

But this Samaritan is the one who comes back to thank Jesus so profusely. Jesus wonders out loud, "Where are the others?" Remarkably, this foreigner is the only one whose heart is filled with gratitude, the only one to acknowledge that Jesus is the source of their healing.

"Rise and go; your faith has made you well." This was more than a faith healing. The man was already healed before he ever returned to Jesus. The word translated as "well" means whole, full, complete. While all ten were physically healed, only this man, expressing his overwhelming gratitude, was truly transformed. He was healed body and soul.

Gratitude is deeply important. When we are grateful, we know that our lives depend on the generosity and goodwill of others. And when we are truly grateful to God, we understand that we depend on him for everything we are and have.

Grace is like an electrical circuit. God gives it freely, but it's only when the grace, the healing, the forgiveness, is returned in grateful living, that it truly transforms our lives.

Session Plan

Complete session plans and leader tips are available in our printed leader guides or via a digital subscription. See Leader Resources.

Not a Dwell user yet? Download free sample sessions.

Leader Resources



For Wonder (2-3) - Year 1 - Unit 4

The printed guide includes 6 sessions. Order it here.

Children's Resources

For Wonder (2-3) - Year 1 - Unit 4

Dwell's colorful, engaging resources come in a variety of formats designed for use in church and at home. Order them here.

Story Symbols

For Wonder (2-3) - Year 1

Optional: Set of color prints on card stock. Order it here.

Leader Support

Dwell Extras

See music, devotionals, story cards, and more for leaders and families.

About Dwell

Learn About Dwell and See Video Tours

Teaching Tips

Welcome to Dwell

Age-Level Characteristics

Learning Style Quiz (K-8)

Leading a Child to Jesus

Welcoming Children with Disabilities

We're Here to Help

For FAQs on using this site, see Dwell Digital Support.

If your question isn't answered there, email support@DwellCurriculum.org or use the live chat box below (during office hours).

Also be sure to subscribe to Dwelling, our bi-monthly enewsletter, for the latest news about Dwell, teacher support, and more.