“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)
Why did only one cleansed leper return to thank Jesus? The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine did not return:
- One waited to see if the cure was real.
- One waited to see if it would last.
- One said he would see Jesus later.
- One decided that he had never had leprosy.
- One said he would have gotten well anyway.
- One gave the glory to the priests.
- One said, “O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
- One said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”
- One said, “I was already much improved.” (Charles L. Brown, Content The Newsletter, June, 1990, p. 3.)
As with the nine lepers, we are all tempted to withhold or rationalize away, the “thanksgiving” we owe to God. This “Thanksgiving,” and throughout the holiday season, let’s not forget to release our “thanks” and “praise” to our King! Unreasonable relatives, tyranny of the urgent, and general holiday anxiety, are among many of the reasons many will withhold their “thanks.”
The “tenth” leper who returned had the right perspective. Regardless of his situation beyond the healing, or why and how his healing occurred; just knowing Jesus cleansed him was enough reason to express his gratitude unto the Lord. The fact that we have been “cleansed” is sufficient enough reason for our “thanksgiving!” In fact, if God never did another thing for us, but save, (cleanse) us; we owe Him our utmost and highest “praise” and “gratitude!”
In the giving of thanks, we align our hearts with God’s heart. At the moment we chose to release our “thanks,” He releases His power, peace, and prosperity (favor) upon us! Jesus said to the “tenth” leper; “Arise go your way, your faith has made you well!” An offering of “thanksgiving,” by faith, pleases God, (Hebrews 11:6). Thanksgiving captures His heart, and places us in the center of His will! (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Be sure, this “Thanksgiving” and in the days to follow, to release your offering of “thanks” and “praise.” It will make for a far less burdensome holiday season, and a “blessed” New Year!
Holiday Blessings to You and Yours,
Pastor Al Pittman