Faith and Gratitude (Luke 17:11-19)

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 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”  (Luke 17:11-19)

Learn it:

            People that had leprosy back then were often restricted to camps outside the city and were told not to mix with healthy people.  They were neglected and considered unclean.  It was a harsh life to live.  When this group of men with leprosy saw Jesus, they knew he was someone who would possibly show compassion.  They cry out to him and he responds by just telling them to go to the priests.  That was all they needed to hear, and they knew that they would be healed.  That would have taken great faith to do! 

            As the head towards the temple, one of the men recognizes that he is healed and turns back to thank God.  It turns out that this man is a foreigner!  How could someone that may not believe in Judaism and has been hated by Israelites turn and thank God?  We see that Jesus extends his grace to all people and even those that we may not expect will respond to that grace.  The foreigner not only receives physical healing but is commended for his faith.  He experiences a deeper change in his life than the other nine. 

Live it:

            The takeaway from this passage is that we are like the foreigner.  When we recognize something amazing happening in our life, we need to turn a praise God.  The fact that the other nine people did not return creates in our minds that nine times out of ten we will probably forget to thank God for the good things he does in our lives.  It’s often unintentional.  We get so excited that things feel our way and we celebrate with those that are around us.  In those moments, no matter who small they are, we should pause and praise God.  Recognizing that anything good we have in our lives is because of him. 

            One big way we praise God is by singing songs to him.  Ephesians 5:19-20 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Singing songs is a great way of showing thanks to God.  One time a week that’s easy to do this is during a worship service.  It’s a time of focusing as a community on the goodness of God and what he has done for us.  Hopefully, we do more singing and praising outside of that hour each week!  We should continually be praising him because his grace never stops!  How can you incorporate more times of praising God into your life each week?

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