We normally think of Thanksgiving in November, with feasting and football and Pilgrims and Native Americans giving thanks. Is thanksgiving only to be celebrated in Fall? Shouldn’t we always have a spirit of thanksgiving? Are you thankful today? Jesus had something to say about your thankfulness.
In Luke 17:11-19, ten lepers, one of them a foreigner, loudly cried to Jesus from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Lepers were outcasts of society, and the foreigner was especially unwanted and unwelcome in the community. They all had come to the end of their rope, with nowhere else to turn. Who could save them in their most desperate hour? They humbly asked for mercy in dependence and trust. What would Jesus do?
Jesus answered. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” and as they went they were cleansed. Jesus is the answering God. No other “gods” hear or care or answer. He showed great mercy, forgiveness, and loving-kindness to the lepers. He fixed what was broken and blessed what was cursed. All things are possible with God, and He made (and makes) all things new in their lives. Jesus is at work to restore what was ruined. Praise God for His answers of mercy!
One leper, the foreigner, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and praised God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. He recognized where his healing and cleansing came from’ not himself, or a doctor, or the government or the priests, but it was God who did this. He was not an outcast anymore, not in misery anymore, not common or cursed or condemned anymore, but cleaned, restored, made whole and holy, declared new and not broken, and accepted. Amen!
Did you notice only one leper, the foreigner, gave thanks? Jesus had a harsh word to say for the nine who did not thank Him. “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Jesus condemned their sin of ingratitude; does He accuse you as well?
You have a need today. Do you recognize Jesus as Master? Do you ask the Lord for help and mercy? How does He answer you? Are you thankful? Do you recognize where your help comes from? Do you give thanks on a regular basis, an “attitude of gratitude”? Take some time to examine your life today and consider your thankfulness (or lack of) onto the Lord.
The truth is, we are all spiritual lepers and foreigners to God. Our sin separates us from Him, that is our greatest need. And God has answered our need, in Jesus. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, shed His blood and died on the cross and rose from the grave on Easter. The tomb is empty and victory has been won. Have you received this? Do you adore and thank Him? Thank Him today and every day.