Pastor Dorothy M. Scott
By Pastor Dorothy M. Scott
New Life Evangelistic Church
Scripture: Luke 17:12-19 (NKJV)
“Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Have you ever been taken for granted by someone who should have known better? Gratitude is a simple, yet powerful act. It shows respect and appreciation for a kindness we have received. We are moved by the value of our blessings and are motivated to respond accordingly.
What an awesome act of mercy and generosity our Lord showed to these helpless souls in our text. Leprosy, commentators tell us, was the cancer of its time. It required separation from others and undoubtedly brought feelings of extreme shame and isolation, in addition to the pain and physical deterioration brought on by the disease itself. It was in this context that our Lord encountered these ten men, all crying out for His mercy.
What could cause one to experience cleansing from this dreadful malady and not turn to give thanks to the very one who brought it to pass? Was it thoughtlessness, a feeling of entitlement, taking blessings for granted, a spirit of ingratitude, or perhaps a combination of these?
We cannot tell from the text, but what we know is that Jesus took note of it and addressed the matter. How important it must be to our Lord that we stop and thank Him for what He does for us!
In pointing out the omission of the nine who failed to thank Him, what is our Master saying to us? Is it that we are to beware of the tendency of ingratitude less it takes root in our hearts, or is it to teach us respect for order and authority, or perhaps a warning against taking our blessings for granted?
As we see from the results of the one who turned to worship Christ with thanksgiving, that there is great reward in doing so. That man received a double blessing – physical healing and spiritual wholeness, for we believe that he also received salvation. He went from separation to salvation and from shame before God to being a worshipper of God.
Thankfulness is powerful. Consider these truths: We are to enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4); we are instructed to pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), we are to always give thanks to God for all things in Christ’s name (Ephesians 5:20).
As we approach this season called ‘Thanksgiving,’ let us use it as a reminder of God’s mandate to turn and thank Him for all that He has done, is doing, and by faith, what He will do.