Luke 17:11-19 - On the way to Jerusalem He [Jesus] was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." When He saw them He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
"Where are the other nine?" Jesus asked. "Where did they go? Were there not ten lepers I healed from the horrible disease of leprosy?" Jesus had just performed one of the most amazing miracles of His public ministry. He healed ten men afflicted with a dreaded disease, yet only one returned to thank Him.
This is a lesson from God for you and me today. Our hearts are hardened by sin, but the power of God's Holy Spirit can renew them and heal them of their thanklessness. God does this through the miraculous power of His Holy Word. Just like the lepers cried out to Jesus for help. You and I can go to Him in fervent prayer, seeking His mercy in our time of need.
Let the words of Israel's King David be your prayer. Here was a man whose sin brought him low but not so low as to forget the God who can heal him. David writes, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!" (Psalm 51:1-2).
For the many blessings of God in your life, be thankful. For the Son He sent to save us all, shower Him with ceaseless praise and thanksgiving. Look to the crucifixion cross of Christ. On that cross, Jesus died to save you and me from our cold and callous hearts. There, with His blood shed for you and me, He redeemed us, rising in resurrection glory to triumph over the grave forevermore.
And now, with hearts cleansed and healed by God, let us in all things be thankful. Know that the arms of your Savior are open wide, ready to receive you unto Himself, to cleanse you, and to restore your heart to a sincere and God-pleasing thankfulness.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, we give You thanks for the many blessings you give us each day. We especially thank You for Jesus. Amen.
From "Healing Brings Real Thanksgiving!" a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Who was the last person you thanked for something special?
2. Why did Jesus want the lepers to show themselves to the priests?
3. Ninety percent of the lepers Jesus healed didn't respond with a thank you. Does knowing that lessen the "sting" when you go out of your way for someone and they don't say thank you?
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