Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy
11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
As Jesus enters a village, 10 lepers approach him and call out for Jesus to have Master mercy on them. They are desperate for healing, but as unclean people, they are forbidden to rush up to Jesus. Jesus agrees to heal them, and he does so by giving an unusual command: “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” These directions sound a little odd because they hadn’t been healed yet, but in the time of Jesus, a leper who was fortunate enough to be healed would need to be seen by a priest. Only a priest could certify that a person was truly clean and able to return to the community.
As the lepers make their way toward the priests, they are miraculously healed. One of them, Leper No. 10, races back to Jesus and thanks him.
Only one gives thanks. One out of 10. “Were not ten made clean?” asks Jesus, sounding miffed. “But the other nine, where are they?” Only one bothers to come back to Jesus and offer thanks.
Keep in mind that the other nine lepers did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They were obedient. They followed instructions. But gratitude and thanksgiving move us beyond the expected. A gracious attitude and lifestyle can make one extraordinarily blessed.
It should not surprise you to hear that research shows that people who count their blessings are finding that they are sleeping better, exercising more and caring more about others.
The Bible teaches us to praise God for everything. Everything? Yes, everything! We are to praise and thank God constantly, "in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18), "always giving thanks…for everything" (Ephesians 5:20).
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. More people in our country will be giving God thanks for their blessings than on any other day of the year. While we too will join in by naming our blessings, maybe we should be like Leper No. 10 and praise God with a loud voice for the ways that we have been healed. We can offer thanks for the message that our faith has and can continue to make us whole. We can offer our thanks for the ways we have been reconciled with God and with each other, for the gift of forgiveness, for God’s unconditional love, and for the gift of Jesus. Just wanted to give you some suggestions for things you might want to say around the table.
Loving and Gracious God, Heal us and make us whole. Thank you for the countless blessings that we have received and forgive us for not coming to you to offer our thanks. Watch over all those who will be traveling and carrying out the incredible plans for tomorrow. Help us to see it all as perfect.
Bless us o Lord these thy gifts which we have already received and are about to receive from thy bounty—through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.