Sharing Thankfulness

There are many surprising stories in the Bible. It is a book filled with people who make choices and react to situations in ways we might not expect. Every time I read this story of Jesus healing ten lepers, I am surprised and disappointed by the reaction (or lack of reaction) from nine out of the ten people who were healed.
Luke 17:11-19 (ESV) 11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
Nine out of ten did not come back to give thanks. Ninety percent. Their lives were changed forever in an instant. They went from unclean to clean. They went from ostracized to acceptable. They were untouchable and could now return to the community. It is difficult to full describe the complete change in their existence that happened that day. Only one came back to say thank you to Jesus.
Here is the problem. I do not believe for a moment that the other nine were not thankful. They knew what a life-changing event it was. They would likely tell the story to others for the rest of their lives. They would always remember that day. But they did not express their thankfulness to the One who did it.
I believe we are thankful as well. Most of us will never experience a day with a physical change like that, but we are blessed in so many ways. We need to take the time to share that thankfulness with people who are a blessing to us. An even greater gift has been given to us as we are baptized into Christ. We have experienced a change that is eternal. We are cleansed. We are accepted by God. We are in community with Him. Do we express our thanks to Him for that amazing gift? Don’t be part of the 90 percent. Give him your thanks every day. And if you have not received that gift. Take hold of it today.

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