LIVING WITH GRATITUDE
Lord, we are a thankful people.
Read LUKE 17:11–19
Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy
11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
a Luke 17:12 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” (Brené Brown, b. 1965)
Leprosy imposed isolation upon its sufferers simply because it was highly contagious. So, its victims had to avoid contact with other people. In today’s account a Samaritan leper is even further isolated from the Jews of Jesus’ day, and yet Jesus comes into contact with him along with nine other Jewish lepers but with miraculous results. Tragically, as is so often the case, once they have what they want out of God, most of them forget to thank him.
This story illustrates the disturbing truth that it is possible to receive God’s great gifts of grace but still operate with an ungrateful heart. To their credit, they do take the step of faith and obedience, making themselves known to the priests, as Jesus directs (14). They still need to step out in faith to receive their healing. Miraculously, they are all healed. However, nine of them fail to return to give thanks; the one who does return and fall on his face before the Master is a Samaritan, a remark which would have provoked his Jewish listeners. In returning to give thanks, he receives a further gift in the form of Jesus’ words of peace and soul-healing: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (19). What invaluable and freeing information, that part of his healing was his own faith.
How do you receive a gift? It is amazing that only one of the ten pause to recognize what has actually been given to him, how this would change his life, and who it was dispensing this priceless gift. Do we even realize the riches of grace that God has generously poured out into our lives? Do we take the time to say “thank you”?
All of life is a gift. Take some time right now to be grateful. Write a list of the blessings God has given you. Ask Him to help you to live with a deep sense of gratitude and awe for His goodness shown so generously to you.
Lord the degree of beneficence which You have bestowed upon Your people openly testifies to Your innate goodness and mercy toward us..