In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus’ healing of the 10 lepers is recorded. Throughout His ministry, Jesus performed many miracles. It wasn’t unusual for Him to restore someone’s health. But what’s emphasized in this story isn’t the miracle. It’s the one who came to Jesus to give thanks, while the other nine did not: “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (v. 17).
Leprosy was a horrific disease that ate away at the skin. It was an infectious disease, and those afflicted by it had to cry out “Unclean!” to anyone who got close to them. As a result, they were shut out from society. But Jesus gives these men a new lease on life. These 10 men, who once had nothing, now have everything. But before we point the finger at the nine who did not return to thank Jesus, let us first examine ourselves to see if we’re as far removed from them as we’d like to think.
THINK: You and I have a lot to be grateful for. And there are times in our life when we need to slow down, take a deep breath and think about what we do have (Ps. 103:1-10). Paul says in I Thess. 5:18: “In everything give thanks.” Thankfulness should characterize our lives in every circumstance. We genuinely go through difficulties in life, and this may be a challenging verse for us. But the circumstance allows us to boil life down to what’s really important.
EXPRESS: Have you ever had somebody do something nice for you, and you knew you had to tell them “Thank you,” but you didn’t? When we’re thankful, it must be expressed. When we put the thanksgiving off, time wears out and wears off the meaning of the gift. We must render to others what is due them right now, including thankfulness (Prov. 3:27-28).
WORSHIP: The nine lepers did what Jesus told them to do (Luke 17:14). But the leper who was thankful didn’t just return to shake Jesus’ hand and say, “Thanks.” He fell down at Jesus’ feet and praised Him (Luke 17:15-16). He lowered himself, while acknowledging the highness of Jesus. If we’re not coming here driven by thankfulness to God, our worship is missing something (Ps. 35:18).
Bottom line: Thank God every day. Express that thankfulness and give Him the glory.