Luke 17:11-19 (NIV) 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.”
Gratitude is the proper response to God’s grace (vv. 12-13)
The root-word of gratitude is grace. Gratefulness is a proper response to God’s grace or the acts of kindness we receive from others. One of the reasons we are not grateful is that we have an unreasonable sense of entitlement. We feel that it is our right to receive and it is God’s duty—or whomever He uses—to provide for us. In fact when someone does to us an act of grace, many times our response is, “I deserved more.”
Not many of us would like to hang around mean and ungrateful people. We all want to be with graceful, kind, and grateful. There is some kind of attraction that comes from them. It is like that sweet-smelling scent. It is the same with God. He loves people who are grateful; people who respond to His grace with gratefulness.
Our Gratitude glorifies God (vv. 15-19)
Never take God’s grace for granted. We are undeserving, lost sinners, unable to save ourselves. The Bible says we were dead in our sins. But because of God’s grace we have been saved (cf. Romans 5:8-10). The healed leper who returned to give glory to God knew something that the rest did not. He knew his position. He was a foreigner (verse 18). He knew he did not deserve healing from Jesus. He knew that it was entirely because of God’s grace that he had been healed.
There are many simple things that we take for granted: The life that God has given us, or the family and friends that we have. How many times have you paused to say “thank you” to God for His kindness to you? How much of your prayer time is characterized by thanks giving?
- What things are you thankful to God about?
- Have you taken time to appreciate someone who did to you an act of kindness recently?