In Luke 17:11-19, we read the account of Jesus and the 10 lepers. When they saw Jesus passing by, they said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Jesus then told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”, and as they went, they were all cleansed of their leprosy. As they realized that they were clean, 1 of the 10 turned back to express his thanks to Jesus. It seems obvious to me in this story that we have 10 people who were given a great gift from God and that 9 of them were [in any visible, noticeable, meaningful way] unthankful for it. I often wonder why those other 9 didn’t return to thank Jesus. Let’s speculate together for just a moment as to what each man may have thought to himself:
1. One may have thought, “I’ll wait and see if this cure is for first.”
2. Another may have said, “Jesus knows I’m thankful; I don’t actually have to TELL Him.”
3. Still another may have thought, “I’ll see Jesus. He’s always around and besides, there’s a lot of stuff I can do now and I want to get started!
4. One self-deluded leper may have convinced himself, “I never actually HAD leprosy.”
5. One may have thought, “I would’ve gotten well eventually, with or without His help.”
6. One may have justified this by giving thanks and glory to the priests.
7. Another may have made himself feel better by saying, “You know, Jesus didn’t really DO anything.”
8. One could have convinced himself that “Any rabbi could’ve done that.”
9. The final man may have thought, “I’d like to thank Jesus, but I’m not running back with that Samaritan to do it!”
How often do we use these same excuses for being ungrateful, even when we live a perpetually blessed life? It’s really not a question as to whether or not we have anything to be thankful for, is it? After all, God has told us in Ephesians 5:20 to “give thanks always and for everything”. He has told us in Philippians 4:6 and Col. 4:2 that everything we pray about needs to be accompanied with thanksgiving. Colossians 3:15 commands us, as Christians, to “be thankful”.
You may say, “Well things have been going really bad for me lately and I don’t have much to be thankful for.” Really? As an answer to that, first of all, Paul says, in I Thess. 5:18 that we are to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” But secondly, even if things aren’t going well, if we’re faithful Christians it shouldn’t matter! If we’re faithful Christians, we can always thank God for our salvation, for the Church, and for loving us enough to adopt us into His own family.
So, this Thanksgiving, let’s all be reminded that we have powerful reasons to be thankful to God every day of the year!
All that being said…
Enjoy your turkey:)