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A lesson on thankfulness

Text: Luke 17:11-19

Excerpt: Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." Luke 17: 17-19, NIV.

The cry for mercy does not go unheeded: The ten lepers cried out for mercy. Our God is a merciful God. He will always respond to our call for mercy. The cry for mercy is a call for help, an admittance that we depend on God totally. Matthew 11: 28, Romans 10: 12-13.

God’s answer occasionally comes in the form of an instruction: “Go show yourselves to the priest.” That was God’s instruction. But it was also God’s answer to their prayers. We should pay attention to Mary’s admonition: “Whatever he tells you, do it” John 2: 5.

Miracles and breakthroughs are the result of responding to God’s instruction: “And as they went, they were cleansed.” They obeyed the instruction given to them, and in their obedience, saw a physical manifestation of the healing. These lepers acted in faith as they went to the priest (Leviticus 14: 1-32). Naaman also learned the same lesson (2 Kings 5: 9-14).

One out of ten returned to give thanks: Ten lepers were healed, but only one returned to give profuse thanks to the Lord. It may be a stretch, but could it be that only about ten percent of us actually return to give praise to the Lord for His individual acts of grace?

Jesus’ response showed that He expected their thankfulness: "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Jesus asked. He expected all ten of them to give thanks. God expects our hearty praise for all His wonderful works. Psalm 103: 1-22.

A sense of entitlement seems to be the problem: “Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Yes, it was a Samaritan that returned to give thanks. He was filled with joy. Didn’t think he deserved it. It was all God’s love and grace. What about his nine Jewish friends? What else should they have expected? They were God’s chosen people. It was no big deal for Christ to heal them. After all, He was sent to the house of Israel. Our false sense of entitlement robs us of the ability to be truly humble and appreciative of what God has done. Romans 12: 3.

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