November 6th 2010

…By The Way, Thanks!

“…ten men who had leprosy met him…When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests’. And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back…he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.”
Luke 17:12-15 (NIV UK)

Never hesitate to say “thanks!”

“Thank you for holding the door open.” “Thank you for the card.” “Thank you for the special meal.” “Thank you for being my soul mate.” “Thank you for the pay rise.” “Thank you for the fun we share.” “Thank you for the sermon.” “Thank you for being there when I was down.” “Thank you for just being you.”

In the story above, ten victims of leprosy were restored to the community. Jesus, alluding to Leviticus 14:2-3, tells them to get themselves declared clean and thus be able to enter into ordinary social life. In other words, he is telling them that they would be healed by the time they show themselves to the priests. In response to Jesus’ instructions they said nothing and went immediately to the priests. On the way they were healed.

What happened next? Maybe some expressed appreciation to the priests or thought to give a thanks offering. If so, good, but the flow of the text seems to imply that none did. Only one came back and thanked Jesus personally. Why did the nine not return? Perhaps they did not make the connection between the words of Christ and their healing. Jesus’ reply to them had not been a dramatic “I heal you” and he did not lay hands on them in some display of power. We don’t know. The one who came back was an outcast on two levels: a leper and a Samaritan, the text informs us. What we do know is that the Samaritan did not get so caught up in his new life that he forgot to say thanks.

Sometimes blessings come to us from God through others. In fact most often they do. If you are like me, you may think occasionally to give God thanks, and, even less often, think to show gratitude to anyone involved. It’s time to change that approach.

Make a conscious effort to be appreciative, and give thanks with a grateful heart.

Have you said “thank you” to someone today yet?

Lord, thank you for all you do for me, and help me to show appreciation to others who help me in so many ways. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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