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Giving the Gift of Gratitude

• Dwayne Polk

Jesus spent much of his time healing and performing miracles, and Luke tells the account of the healing of ten lepers – and the one who came back to thank Jesus. However, there was more healing needed than simply the physical reversal of leprosy, and this story reminds us some important principles about gratitude.

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Jesus was well known at this time for doing miracles and especially healings. So the lepers approached him with hope based on this reputation. As they came to him, Jesus acknowledged them from a distance and told them to report to the priest for examination and restoration (see Lev. 14:1-8) into the community. Dwayne Polk pointed out that these folks didn’t get the “personal touch” that others Jesus had healed had received. This required more faith on their part to follow through with Jesus’ instructions. It was not until they obeyed Jesus by going to the priest that they were actually healed.

After being examined by the priest, only one of the lepers returned to thank Jesus for his gift. Dwayne helped us sympathize with the other nine by reminding us how very lonely and desperate the life of a leper had been while afflicted (see Lev. 13:45-46). So, humanly speaking, it was understandable that the nine lepers were very eager to return to their community and their homes. However, there was more in store for the one leper who did return to Jesus. While all ten lepers were healed of their physical ailment, only the one who returned to give praise to the Giver of the gift gained a personal relationship with Jesus.

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Topics: Faith, Gratitude, Healing


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 17:11-19

    Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 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.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

    One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

    Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

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