Are We Thankful?
There is a story in the Gospel of Luke 17:11-19 where Jesus heals the ten men with leprosy. Now if we know anything about leprosy, then we know it was a terrible disease. Leprosy was a disease that attacked the nerves, respiratory track, skin and eyes causing great pain to the body. And in biblical days anyone who had leprosy, according to the law, was considered unclean and could not have any contact with others. As a matter of fact, they had what were known as leper colonies which were on the outskirts of the community. That is where persons with leprosy had to live. They lived disconnected from society. They could not go to the movies. They could not have a nice meal at the local restaurant. They could not go shopping at the mall. They could not work out at the gym. They could not even vote. They were separated and definitely not equal to the rest of society. And it just so happened in Luke 17:11-19 that Jesus was walking by one of the leper colonies and these ten men with leprosy saw him and they called out in a loud voice in verse 13, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” And when Jesus saw them, he simply said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were healed. I can imagine that these ten men were so excited. They could now be reunited with the community and their families. But there was one in the group of ten, who had a completely different reaction. One of the ten, if you don’t mind me using my imagination, began to think about Jesus and all that he had just done for him and he was so thankful. I can see him encouraging the other nine to all go back and thank Jesus for their healing. But they probably made excuses and said, “Maybe later, I have to get to the barber or beauty salon.” Their list of excuses was most likely quite lengthy. But this one man, ran back to Jesus, fell prostrate at his feet and began to thank him. Jesus saw the man and asked what happened to the other nine. Then he told this one thankful man, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Listen, this man was not only healed physically, he was also healed spiritually. Because he was thankful, he did not miss out on the most powerful blessing of salvation, while the other nine did. As we prepare for the Thanksgiving Season, I wonder if you and I are one of the nine, or are we like the thankful one.