04/22/17 Genuine Gratitude

READING: 2 Samuel 14-15, Luke 17:1-19

“And as they were going, they were cleansed.”

Luke 17:14

You would think they would have come running back to Jesus. They had been lepers, separated from others because of their disease. And, they had intentionally sought Jesus’ help when He came by, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13). They desperately wanted and needed His help.

His response to them was surprisingly simple: “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14). They were to do what their rules required when healing had taken place: go to `the priest, and allow him to declare them clean. That request must have seemed strange for men who still bore the signs of leprosy. Nevertheless, all ten of them had enough faith in Jesus to start the journey toward the priest.

The biblical text then tells us, “And as they were going, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:14). It is striking that they were not healed before going to the priest; instead, they were healed as they went to him. Every step was a step of faith. I can just imagine their walking slowly at first, but then speeding up as they saw their skin restored. Sore by sore, they saw God work a miracle in their lives. In that sense, they remind us that seldom does God answer everything before He calls us to follow Him; more often, He simply says, “Go, and trust me.” Following Him is genuinely a step-by-step process of faith.

Remarkably, only one of the lepers, a Samaritan whom the Jews would have despised, returned to Jesus to thank Him. He glorified God for his healing, and he then “fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him” (Luke 17:16). We don’t know what kept the other lepers from returning to Jesus, however. Perhaps some returned to their families quickly. Maybe one went job hunting. It’s possible that the “media” of that day sought to interview these men. Whatever it was that stood in the way for them, their lack of gratitude surely showed that their hearts were not turned toward Jesus.

Quite different, though, is the response for the Samaritan. Gratitude overwhelmed him – so much so that he turned back toward Jesus, fell at His feet, and simply praised Him. How could he not when Jesus had just miraculously restored him to health?

And, how could we not fall before Him in gratitude when He has sought us, saved us, sealed us, and now sanctifies us? If our busyness gets in the way of thanking God through prayer, we are far too busy.   

ACTION STEPS:

  • Thank God for who He is and for what He has done in your life.
  • Then, thank Him again. And again.

PRAYER: “God, I thank You for cleansing me and making me whole in Christ. And then, I thank You again.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Samuel 16-18, Luke 17:20-37