30/30: Nine. One. Thanksgiving.

25 11 2008

lepersOn of my favorite moments in the life of Christ is Luke 17:11-19. As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”

Back in the day if someone was diagnosed with leprosy, it was a serious deal. A leper not only faced a chronic disease causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes, but lepers were quarantined from the rest of society. Not good. The only way to reenter society was to get a priest to certify that your leprosy had gone into remission or been cured. Jesus tells the ten lepers to go show themselves to the priest “and as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.”

But what happens next is astounding. “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

All ten of these lepers had faith. All ten of them are physically healed. But only one came back and thanked Him. And He healed on a much deeper level. He was healed of ingratitude.

Ironically, the man was a Samaritan. Jews considered Samaritans irreligious. They worshiped on the wrong mountain. They were “half-breeds.” Maybe God could care less about how “religious” or “irreligious” we are. Maybe what God seeks is a grateful heart.

The key phrase in Luke 19 is “came back.” Thanksgiving is going back and giving thanks. Thanksgiving isn’t just a day, but it’s about the trajectory of your life. This day you and I have a choice…which direction are you going? Are you like the NINE – off enjoying what God’s given you? Or the ONE – “coming back” to thank God for all He’s done for you and given to you?

What are you thankful for today? Post your thanks.




2 responses

26 11 2008

I am thankful I still have a job. Sometimes I worrying about how long I’ll have it, but I’ve found worrying doesn’t do any good. I know God will take care of me.

21 11 2009

Just enjoyed your brief but meaningful devotion – I am most grateful

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