In Luke 17: 11-19, we find the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed of their ailments. This passage has a few takeaways worthy of our attention. First, the ten lepers jointly make their appeal known to the Messiah, “have mercy on us.” What takes place next is quite remarkable indeed. Jesus doesn’t lay hands on them, but rather tells them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests. Well, as the story goes, all ten were summarily healed as they went about their way.
Interestingly, the reader may find it shocking that out of the ten only one returned to the Messiah, “rejoicing & giving praise to God.” And to add insult to injury, we soon discover that this “one” is none other than a Samaritan. Throughout the NT, we find a negative posture towards the Samaritans. They were considered a people of “mixed” races that lived in the land of Palestine since being place there, almost 750 years earlier in 722 BC by the Assyrian ruler Sargon II. At a glance, one could easily glean the moral conclusion to this parable, which is, the fact that Gentiles are being grafted-in the covenant between God and the Jews, established by faith. In this I, like many of you, find the good news of the Gospel being made available to gentles.
So what about the other 9? What message can they lend us as believers that help our understanding of the struggle between the relationship with God, and His people? The passage alludes to the fact that not only one returned, but also one who would be less likely a recipient of a blessing, let alone depicted as the lone wolf with enough humility to be grateful. The message is quite clear that the 9, were not only ungrateful, but they were so on account of takings God’s healing power totally for granted.
If any of us can think back to a time in our lives when we made a strong, and sometimes, urgent appeal to God to help us heal from a hurt, hang-up, bondage, or open shame, do we often reflect back on how grateful any of us were, at the time, to receive God’s inconceivable grace & mercy. Perhaps, like the 9, some of us have experienced God’s blessings so often that we don’t notice our misguided notion that “we have it coming, because we walk by faith and not by sight.”
Today, I would like to encourage all of us to take a moment to reflect back on how far God has faithfully brought us, and allow that to lead us into a time of celebration, rejoicing, and praise to Him who routinely manifests His loving Kindness towards His creation through His loving kindness. Today, Let’s find the time to demonstrate our gratefulness by giving Thanks….
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’"