11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Commentating on this passage, Katherine J. Kehler states:
“I have often thought about how exciting it will be when we get to heaven. Our eyes will be opened to all the miracles God did for us — most of which we were unaware of while on earth. We will also come to realize how many times we rationalized away many of the miracles, like the nine lepers who were healed.”
She then shares several suggestions as to how and why nine of the ten lepers may have rationalized away the miracle of cleansing they had received from Jesus, and thus never returned to give Him thanks.
Perhaps their rationalizations include such assertions as:
- That of one man who waited to see if the cure was real.
- That of one who waited to see if it would last.
- That of one who said he would see Jesus later.
- That of one who decided that he had never really had leprosy.
- That of one who said he would have gotten well anyway.
- That of one who gave the glory to the priests.
- That of one who said, “Oh, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
- That of one who said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”
- That of one who said, “I was already much improved.”
Kehler further observes that all of this raises questions for you and me today. Such questions include whether or not we are faithfully thanking God for all He has done and is doing for us. And also whether we, like the nine lepers, may be guilty of rationalizing away the many, many miracles God has done for us!
With the Thanksgiving holiday on the horizon, surely now is a good time for each of us to pause and ponder the significance of these questions for ourselves.
Granted, along with me, few, if any of you reading this blog post may have suffered from and then been healed of leprosy. But how many other things have we suffered and then been delivered from? How many other ways has God come through for us when no one else either would or could?
My strong suspicion is that a little time spent in inventory in the “needs” and “needs met” departments will soon reveal that we too have much to be thankful for!
In light of this, “No thanks!” is simply not an option!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/niv/luke/17.htm.
ILLUSTRATION SOURCE: This illustration is available widely on the internet. See, for instance: https://bible.org/illustration/why-didn%E2%80%99t-nine-lepers-return.
My immediate source is: https://thelife.com/the-nine-ungrateful-lepers. Apparently, the list cited originally occurred in a June, 1990 newsletter by Charles L. Brown, Content The Newsletter, p. 3.