Here is another entry by my good friend, Ken Ellis. Continued prayers for me, please, in Can Tho!
Dateline: On the way to Jerusalem along the border between Samaria and Galilee as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 17, verses 11-19.
The Son of God has just told ten lepers, who had begged Him for mercy, to go and show themselves to the priests. While still on their way, they were healed. And then an "it's hard to believe, but it's true" phenomenon occurred: an outsider, a Samaritan, was the only one of the ten who came back to say "thank you." He was so grateful that he knelt at Jesus' feet and couldn't thank him enough.
Are you kidding me? Jesus used His miraculous power and only got a ten percent "thank you" in return. Nine guys who were stricken with a horrible disease that literally makes your body parts drop off are healed, and they don't have the presence of mind or heartfelt appreciation to simply say, "Thank you." I'm afraid my human nature might have taken control of my spiritual nature had I been in Jesus' sandals. I might have sought them out and said "Okay, so you don't appreciate my saving you from the most despicable disease ever? Well, fine then. Guess what? Because of your unbelievable ingratitude for this little miracle, you get to be lepers again for the rest of your lives. So there. Deal with it." They asked Jesus for something. He delivered; yet, they never said "thank you." Aren't you thankful that we're not like that!
And don't you just hate it when you do something nice for people, and they don't appreciate it? After all, you've taken time out of your demanding schedule to render aid to someone, someone you may even think is undeserving of your attention. But you're a nice person, and so you do it. You don't expect a cherry pie or monetary payment in return, but the least that person could do is grovel a little at your feet with words of praise and kindness. Disgusting, isn't it, the attitude of some people?
Why do you think the nine failed to show a public demonstration of thankfulness? Remember as a kid growing up when someone did something nice for you, and your mother would prompt, "Now what do you say?" You knew what to say, didn't you? But sometimes we take niceties for granted, and we forget to say, "Thank you." We sometimes become so wrapped up in the affairs of the world that we often take God's blessings, and each other, for granted. When "Thee" becomes all about "Me," we showcase a spirit of ingratitude. Someone has said, "Humanity by nature is . . . unthankful."
"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"- 2nd Timothy 3:2.
For me the story of the ten lepers is a story of physical healing and restoration of life for ten and a story of extreme gratitude for one. Don't be like the nine. Remember to say thank you every day for the blessings that come from God!
The sacrifice that honors me is a thankful heart. Ps. 30:23
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