I have often thought of the story of the ten lepers and their encounter with Jesus (Luke 17:11-19). This scripture passage to me, is significant in bringing out the thankfulness of those who are blessed. It also speaks of how important it is to give thanks, and to show gratitude in even the smallest of things.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
This scripture describes Jesus’ journey along the leper colony where ten lepers sought him out for help. Jesus did help them and they were cured of this dreaded disease. However, only one, a Samaritan, thought that he should go back to Jesus and give thanks. Thus, Jesus’ question “where are the nine”? In other words, are you the only one who thought to give thanks?
We may understand that no details were given as to the life of these nine individuals. It is surmised that they are from varied backgrounds. One writer (Michael E. Loomis) theorized on the many reasons that these individuals may have had in not showing thanks.
These reasons may be representative of many attitudes of ingratitude, but despite them all, we can say that there is no reason that is acceptable to Jesus for not giving thanks in any situation.
The Bible is filled with commands to give God thanks for all that he has done. The premise is that we should always show gratitude.
If we stop, as the Samaritan did, realizing that he was redeemed and that he received grace and mercy from God, we would realize that God also wants us to be thankful at all times in all circumstances. God is the reason that we exist and he made everything for his glory and without him, there would be nothing. He reveals his glory in his son Jesus Christ, so because of this, it is the duty of all to recognize what he has done for us by praising him as the Samaritan did.
This story of the ten lepers as written by Michael Lomis is also showing leprosy as a spiritual disease. The nine received an outward physical cure but the tenth man received more than a physical healing; he received a spiritual blessing as he publicly gave praise and thanksgiving and glory to God.
This is an example of us giving personal testimony to God for all that he has done. This is also a lesson for us being thankful for food, clothes, shelter and the like. Many receive these things yet neglect to understand from which they came.
Paul makes it clear to us that we must give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonian 5:18) good or bad because this is what God wants. So, in this season that is set aside for giving thanks, let us remember that the blessings are there for us to claim, and the almighty requires of us to give thanks in all seasons in all times.
In the words of Bob Marley, “Give thanks and Praise to the Lord and we will be alright”
Blondel Jones Grant