So I was reading in Luke today for my daily scripture study and I came across a passage that I feel is pretty convicting. And part of what I want to talk about today is the idea of giving thanks and how we shouldn’t ignore it. Let’s check it out!
While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.Luke 17:11-14 NASB1995
So this passage starts out with an account of how Jesus meet a group of lepers while He was on His way to Jerusalem. And when He met these lepers, they all called on Him and actually recognized Him as their master. So they ask Jesus the Master for mercy, and then Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priest. This of course is refering to how when a leperous person is cleansed, they would then show themselves to the Levitical priests. So as these men start to make their way to Jerusalem, they are healed along the way. But what happens next in the story, is telling in terms of how we can learn from the passage.
Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.Luke 17:15-16 NASB1995
So after the ten men are healed, only one of them returns to Jesus to give him praise. He recognized what God had done for him, and he praised God openly with a loud voice as he came back to Jesus.
Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”Luke 17:17-19 NASB1995
So when he returns to Jesus, the Lord asks him why he was the only one that came. Not only that, but Jesus recognized that this man was in fact a foreigner. He wasn’t part of the house of Israel, or part of the Jewish community and yet he still came and praised God. Because for him it wasn’t about religion, it was about true thankfulness. So Jesus tells him that because of faith he has been made well, and that he needs to go. So let’s talk about the important lesson that we can take away from this passage. After all the men had been healed, only one person came back to thank God. And not only did he thank God, but he did it with a loud voice. This means that after a miracle happened in his life, he thanked God openly. And he also wanted to return to the person that had healed him, falling to his knees in thankfulness. This is the attitude that we should have as believers. I know that many people reading this probably have stories about how the Holy Spirit has healed them from one thing or another, whether that be from sickness, trauma, or some personality defect such as anger issues. But how often do we come before Jesus and fall on our faces in thanksgiving? We call Him master just as the lepers did, but how often are we like the man who came back to give thanks? I know that I personally haven’t given thanks as often as I should. There have been plenty of things that the Lord has healed me from that I could give thanks about. But it is one of the last things I do in prayer. I always focus first on my requests when I haven’t even given thanks for prayers previously answered. So I encourage and challenge you today to make a list of all the things the Lord has healed you from and make sure to give thanks to God for them.
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