Since Thanksgiving was this week, my immediate family and I were able to spend some extra time with our extended families. It is always nice to get together with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to share a meal and conversations. This time of year brings about special, warm feelings of happiness and cheerfulness about the things we may feel like we have accomplished during the year. More important than feeling cheerful is feeling grateful.
In the book of Luke in the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, there is a story of Jesus healing ten lepers. In Chapter Seventeen, between the verses of eleven and nineteen, Luke describes how Jesus entered a village where some men when who had leprosy called out to Jesus. They asked for Jesus’ mercy on them, to heal them of the disease they carried. He did show them the power of his healing. Jesus sent them to the priests to declare that, indeed, they had been cleansed. It turns out that of the ten lepers, only one returned to Jesus to give his thanks for his healing. A leper was not able to live with his family, or they would be infected. He was not able to hold down a job, or even dwell in the village as a valued countryman. He was reduced to being a beggar on the street to feed himself. The gift Jesus gave in healing these sick men was a renewed lifestyle, as well as a renewed life pain free.
It would seem that the men would be very aware of the miracle of healing. When they were healed, their skin was restored to a healthy glow instead of the pasty white color they had known, covered with scabs and oozing sores. Most of the ill could only think of themselves, though. They mistakenly thought they had not needed anyone or anything else. How quickly they had forgotten what Jesus had done for them.
They had done nothing but ask Jesus for healing. It was by God’s grace and mercy that each one had received an outpouring of love (a gift offered to each one of us, if we only ask). It was ultimately very important, though, to give God the thanks and glory due Him for the undeserved, unexpected health awarded them. Jesus knew they should have fallen to their knees in thanksgiving and praise to God. He was probably saddened to see that most of them didn’t even think of it. The truth is, they thought only of themselves. Unfortunately, though they were healed that day, they were not saved with eternal salvation. It was the act of being truly thankful that saved the one leper who remained to give Jesus the praise He richly deserved. The other nine would go on to lose their lives, eventually.