Luke 17:11-19 offers us the story where 10 lepers ask Jesus for help. All 10 are cured of leprosy as they were headed out to follow his instruction to present themselves to the priests. Only one, a Samaritan (foreigner, not a chosen person) turns back to say “Thank you.” Jesus tells this one that his faith has saved him.
In pondering this, it comes to mind that all 10 were cured/ healed of their leprosy. Why call a attention to the one who returned to say “Thank you.” So, thanks is obviously not required to be cleansed. Asking and then starting to follow through on the instructions seems to be enough. What is different about the one?
My guess is that this leper was healed/saved/made whole at a deeper level. He returned to the source of his healing. He was told “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Just being cleansed of the disease was good, but it seems that expressing gratitude enhanced the result.
I also have to remember Jesus in this story at times. You know, those times when I do something to help another and get no thanks or acknowledgement. Jesus didn’t take away the healing for the 9 that went on their merry way without thanking him. He did offer additional blessing and encouragement for the one who did return. If we would do as Jesus did, we don’t offer help only to those who say “Thank you.” But, as one who is helped, we need to know that there are great benefits to giving thanks.