Study Guide: Giving the Gift of Gratitude

Sunday February 1, 2009 | Dwayne Polk

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

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.

Extended Summary:

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.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stood out to you from today’s message?
  2. Discuss together what the ten lepers came to Jesus for (yes, healing, but how would this affect their relationship to the community?), what they received, and what the one leper both gave and gained by coming back to Jesus.
  3. As a group, when we come to Jesus together, what are we coming for?
  4. What are we offering? How would we like to see this change, if at all?
  5. What is one way we, as a group, can respond together to this message?