One of my wife and my favorite parables is found in Luke 17:11-19, “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.”
So, let’s take a look at this scene. During one of Jesus’ trips along the border between Samaria and Galilee, ten lepers recognized Him. Let me state that leprosy was the most dreaded disease of Jesus’ day. It began with blotches on the skin, which then turned to lumps, which eventually grew so large that the person was disfigured beyond recognition. Then, during the latter stages, the finger and toes literally fell off. Ultimately, the person’s life ended in coma and death…an ugly, excruciating death.
These lepers stood at a distance (by law a minimum of 50 yards) and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” Jesus told them to go to the Priests for certification that they were healed. On the way to the synagogue, they were healed.
Now, the plot of the story thickens. One of them (only one), when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. Notice the distance now between the former leper and Jesus. The leper “threw himself at Jesus feet.” He knew he was healed and likewise so did Jesus. You did not see Jesus jump back. What a beautiful, intimate scene! The leper “thanked him” (don’t forget with a loud voice).
The plot thickens further. The guy was “a Samaritan…” an outcast to the Jews!! Again, Jesus did not back off. Hey, does your self-talk constantly chatter to you that your shameful, a failure, depressed or addicted beyond recovery or worthless? That is a lie from the pit! With a thankful heart, throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and get healed! Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Shut up the negative chatter and call on Him.
Let’s pick up the passage in Luke again, 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?” Only one returned to give thanks and praise to Jesus and he was the foreigner! The Jewish, religious guys left. They got what they wanted and got out of there. They were healed physically and ran towards their family and friends and forgot Jesus. They were again focused on the flesh and this world. Jesus had so much more too often.
In verse 19 Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” He was saved and healed for eternity. Why? He had a thankful heart!! And, he knew the guy that healed him was God, throwing himself at His feet.
Only one in ten, went back to give thanks. Do you have a thankful heart? Or, have you been deceived towards unbelief and bitterness?
1 Thessalonian 5:18 says to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” How often do we give thanks as believers? “In all circumstances.”
Are you one of the nine or are you the one? Gratitude is an attitude that sets your altitude!