And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. (Luke 17:11-13)
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:14-16)
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17:17-19)
FOR SEVERAL DAYS I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS STORY, and the phrase: “Where are the nine?” I think that question provokes me more to thanksgiving than any other verse in the Bible. It reminds me that of all the things God wants from us, thanksgiving is at the top of the list: New Testament and Old Testament.
THANKSGIVING ALIGNS US IN OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE WITH GOD. In my thirties when my children were small, I used to say from the pulpit: “If you allow your children to receive a stick of gum from someone at church without saying: “Thank you!” You’re teaching your children to be criminals.” People with thankful hearts won’t steal from each other, and gossip about one another.
I LIKE WARREN WIERSBE'S COMMENTS ABOUT THE LEPERS. “At the border of Samaria and Judea, Jesus healed ten lepers at one time, and the fact that the miracle involved a Samaritan made it even more significant (see Luke 10:30-37). Jesus used this event to teach a lesson about gratitude to God.
“THE ACCOUNT BEGINS WITH TEN UNCLEAN MEN (Luke 17:11-13), all of whom were lepers. The Jews and Samaritans would not normally live together, but misery loves company and all ten were outcasts. What difference does birth make if you are experiencing a living death? But these men had hope, for Jesus was there, and they cried out for mercy. The word translated “master” is the same one Peter used (Luke 5:5) and means “chief commander.” They knew that Jesus was totally in command of even disease and death, and they trusted Him to help them.
“THE ACCOUNT CONTINUES BY REFERRING TO NINE UNGRATEFUL MEN (Luke_17:17). Jesus commanded the men to go show themselves to the priest, which in itself was an act of faith, for they had not yet been cured. When they turned to obey, they were completely healed, for their obedience was evidence of their faith (see 2Kings 5:1-14).
“YOU WOULD HAVE EXPECTED ALL TEN MEN TO RUN TO JESUS AND THANK HIM for a new start in life, but only one did so — and he was not even a Jew. How grateful the men should have been for the providence of God that brought Jesus into their area, for the love that caused Him to pay attention to them and their need, and for the grace and power of God that brought about their healing. They should have formed an impromptu men’s chorus and sung Psalm 103:1-22 together!
“OH THAT MEN WOULD PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS, AND FOR HIS wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8, Psalm 107:15, Psalm 107:21, Psalm 107:31) Too often we are content to enjoy the gift but we forget the Giver. We are quick to pray but slow to praise.
“THE NEXT TIME YOU SING "NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD," try to remember that Martin Rinkhart wrote it during the Thirty Years’ War when his pastoral duties were most difficult. He conducted as many as forty funerals a day, including that of his own wife; yet he wrote those beautiful words as a table grace for his family. In spite of war and plague around him and sorrow within him, he was able to give thanks to the Lord from a grateful heart.
“LUKE'S ACCOUNT CLOSES WITH ONE UNUSUAL MAN (LUKE 17:15-19). The Samaritan shouted “Glory to God!” and fell at Jesus’ feet to praise Him and give thanks. It would have been logical for him to have followed the other men and gone to the temple, but he first came to the Lord Jesus with his sacrifice of praise (Psalm 107:22; Hebrews 13:15). This pleased the Lord more than all the sacrifices the other men offered, even though they were obeying the Law (Psalm 51:15-17). Instead of going to the priest, the Samaritan became a priest, and he built his altar at the feet of Jesus (read Psalm 116:12-19).
“BY COMING TO JESUS, the man received something greater than physical healing: he was also saved from his sins. Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you” (literal translation), the same words He spoke to the repentant woman who anointed His feet (Luke 7:50). The Samaritan’s nine friends were declared clean by the priest, but he was declared saved by the Son of God! While it is wonderful to experience the miracle of physical healing, it is even more wonderful to experience the miracle of eternal salvation.
“EVERY CHILD OF GOD SHOULD CULTIVATE THE GRACE OF GRATITUDE. It not only opens the heart to further blessings but glorifies and pleases the Father. An unthankful heart is fertile soil for all kinds of sins (Romans 1:21).” (Wiersbe)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 22, 2019 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. 1 Chronicles 6-7 P.M. John 8:21-36
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
Songs for Today:
Now Thank We All Our God (2:38) (Mass Singing-London)
His Eye Is on the Sparrow (2:18) (Piano Solo – Laura Francis)