The Gospel of Luke tells us that as Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem for His final Passover, ten men who had leprosy approached Him and called out from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”1 Despite knowing the suffering and pain that the next days had in store for Him personally, Jesus was moved with compassion and told them to go show themselves to the priests. (Jewish law required a priest to examine and confirm that cases of leprosy were healed.)
The lepers immediately set out to find a priest, and “as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.”2 It’s interesting to wonder what might have gone through their minds as they left Jesus, and also whether their healing was gradual or sudden. We can imagine how thrilled they all must have been when they realized that the miracle had taken place, but Luke tells us that only one of the men was so filled with gratitude that he ran back to Jesus, praised God in a loud voice, and threw himself at Jesus’ feet to thank Him.3
In a twist that would have shocked onlookers, he was a Samaritan, a group despised by Jews of Jesus’ time. “Didn’t I heal ten men?” Jesus asked. “Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”4
The lepers all showed faith that Jesus would heal them, as they set out to find a priest while they were still sick, but Jesus’ comment highlighted their lack of gratefulness. From this account, we see that God doesn’t just want His followers to believe in Him, He also should be recognized and praised in every situation. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”5
Being grateful is obviously easier in some circumstances than in others, but I hope this issue of Activated gives you some ideas for developing a gratitude attitude, whatever comes your way.
- Luke 17:13
- Luke 17:14 NLT
- See Luke 17:15–16.
- Luke 17:17–18 NLT
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT