In Luke 17, the story is told of the 10 lepers who had been cleansed of their disease by Jesus. Jesus never laid a hand on them, did you realize that? He simply said to them, “’Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.” Sadly, out of those 10, only one man returned to thank Jesus for what He had done. Actually, he did more than thank Him. Luke writes, “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned with a loud voice glorifying God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.”
Did you ever wonder why that one man returned and why the others didn’t? The other men who had been healed went to the temple as Jesus had instructed, and then went about their lives, miraculously healed yet unchanged in any other way. However, one man was compelled to run back and worship Jesus. Why? Perhaps because the miracle didn’t happen as they had expected. Jesus told the men to go to the temple and show themselves to the priests, as was the law, to prove they were no longer unclean. Perhaps they didn’t associate their healing with Jesus, but with the steps they, themselves took, to become clean because the Bible says, “…as they went, they were cleansed.”
The other men who had been healed went to the temple as Jesus had instructed, and then went about their lives, miraculously healed yet unchanged in any other way.
Think about this: How many times does Jesus Christ perform the miraculous, in the every day, that you simply don’t attribute to Him? How many times does He partner with your faith and lead you, or set you free, heal you- yet because you went to the doctor, or because you had to apply for Food Stamps, or because you had to get a second job- you don’t glorify Jesus Christ for the miracle of His role in your life? Only one man out of 10 recognized the hand of God in his healing- and he ran back to worship Jesus, to glorify God. That’s a disappointing ratio of gratitude, indeed. Even Jesus was surprised saying, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” God does notice those who bless, glorify and thank Him- and He does also notice those who don’t.
Thought for today
Challenge yourself this week to look around and thank God for everything. Make it your lifestyle. Sure, maybe He empowered you to go get something for yourself and as you walked it out, your miracle unfolded, but what would life look like without His help?? If you are in Christ, you cannot presume that you have done anything on your own power. How prideful! You are empowered– and God deserves the glory for that. But saying “thanks” isn’t enough. The man who had been cleansed by Jesus ran back to give Him glory. He fell on his face. He laid at Jesus’ feet in gratitude. That is worship. Don’t whisper a quick prayer of thanks- sing it. Raise your hands in worship and blessing, minister to the Lord and cry it out. Shout and testify your thanks to God, as this one man did- and Jesus Christ will see your worship and your act of faith. He will see you– and so will everyone else who is watching.