Devotional: ‘The Importance of Being Grateful’

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Luke 17:11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. ESV

Most of us have been raised with such abundance that we sometimes take it for granted. Today we have almost everything we want or need at our finger tips. Though we value all of these blessings, we rarely ever stop to express to God our gratitude.

In today’s passage of scripture we read of ten lepers who cried out to Jesus for mercy. Leprosy, as you well know, was a terrible disease that was considered to be incurable. Those who had leprosy were destined to spend the rest of their lives suffering from its many afflictions. Part of the suffering involved the way it affect the body and caused it to become sick and deformed. Part of the affliction involved the total isolation a leper was forced to endure. The Old Testament Law stated that a leper had to leave his family and friends and live either alone or in a colony of lepers. Knowing this we can easily imagine the desperation of these ten lepers as they cried out for mercy.

Scripture says that the Lord performed a mighty miracle for them that day and healed every one of them. He not only restored their health, He gave them hope. Because of the Lord’s graciousness, each of these men was able to return back to his home and to enjoy his family.

I’m sure that there was a lot of joy and happiness as they entered their homes and embraced their families. It would be greater than winning the lottery. No doubt they told the story over and over again about how the Nazarene had healed them and each time they did there was joy and laughter. They were thankful to be healed, yet they were not grateful to the One who had healed them. Only one of the ten men return to give thanks to Jesus.

Luke 17:17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” ESV

There has been some debate as to what the Lord meant when He told the man that his faith had made him well (whole – KJV) The word Jesus used is often the word used to describe salvation. It is very possible that by returning to Jesus to give Him thanks, this man not only received his physical health, but eternal life. One thing is for certain – those who take time to express their gratitude to Jesus often receive an even greater blessing.

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