Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Thanksgiving (04/18/05)
TITLE: Gratitude is Vast
By Carol Adams
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Johannes A. Gaertner said, “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” What an incredibly true statement! Thanksgiving is an attitude put into action in the heart of us.
In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus tells about ten lepers who called out to Jesus to have mercy on them. Their words had faith. Jesus then tells them to go show themselves to the priests, which is a test of their obedience. Jesus’ method was always to follow the law of the land, so He sent them to the priests, so that they would note that indeed a miracle had taken place amongst the ten lepers. So they went to show themselves to the priests, but one of the lepers already sees that he is healed, turns back, “glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.” A miracle has been accomplished. He sees his leprous body transformed into a cleansed body, and he returns joyously showing his indebtedness to Jesus for His healing power. In this one lepers’ life, thanksgiving was incredibly necessary. His heart and life were changed that very day.
Here he was - one leper - a Samaritan. He is the only Samaritan among nine other Jews, and yet he is the only one that returns to thank Jesus. The Samaritan glorifies Jesus, while the other nine Jews refused to be moved by their healing. Jesus takes note of this. Here a stranger returns to thank Him, while the Jews are ungrateful.
Ten people were healed of leprosy, and only one returns to thank Jesus. Jesus questions this: “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine - where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” [Luke 17:17-18 NAS]. Only one in ten were grateful.
It is true that the one who is the most grateful is often the one who was the least expected to be thankful. Jesus responds in verse 19 by saying, “Stand up and go, your faith has made you well.” The Samaritan received a double cure. The other nine Jews were made whole by the power of Christ and His compassion to their need, but the Samaritan was made whole by his faith and he stood separate from the rest of them.
Matthew Henry states, “Temporal mercies are then doubled and sweetened to us when they are fetched in by the prayers of faith, and returned to the praises of faith.” As the Samaritan began to thank God immediately for the healing, he received physical healing as well as spiritual restoration.
Psalms 26:7 NAS states, “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your
wonders.” May we follow the Samaritan’s example and loudly declare our gratitude to the Lord in all things.
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