In the story we read, we find these ten lepers being healed of their horrible disease called leprosy.
According to the Word of God, leprosy involved not only a social isolation but also a spiritual one. It was believed that leprosy patients suffered a terrible punishment sent by God.
Leprosy, a skin disease, was considered a disease that left the culprit stained, impure, and contaminated. Everyone who developed this disgusting skin disease was required to show the priest because they were unclean and required purification, purging, and cleansing.
Besides this, once the disease of leprosy was diagnosed, the leper lived the rest of his life making himself known to all as someone unclean, so that everyone would know that he was sick with leprosy. He also had to abandon all family, friends, neighbors, and work. There was no cure for people with this disease, other than Death.
"When Jesus entered a village between Samaria and Galilee, ten men with leprosy came out to meet him, standing at a distance." I believe that they were not really from that village, since they were not allowed to live with the community.
I find several things here in Luke 17:
1. To the common people, a leper was someone they couldn't get close to. But on the other hand, Jesus saw him as a sick man who needed His help and blessing.
2. All lepers were rejected men, but to Christ they were men who needed Him.
3. All lepers were discriminated against, but to Christ they were simply men with a disease who needed Him.
4. While the whole community had no mercy on them, they knew that Jesus did have mercy on them.
5. The lepers found a Biblical principle (vs. 14) that obedience is the key to healing. “As they went, they were healed.”
6. We find (vs.17) Christ as an omniscient God Who knows everything, when He noted that, there were ten who were healed, but where were the nine?
7. Finally, there was one leper that returned, prostrated at His feet, and this was a Samaritan giving Him thanks.
Here are a few quotes on thankfulness:
· I have been given so much that I have no time to reflect on what has been denied me.
· Gratitude occurs when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.
· Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.
· Silent gratitude is not of much use to anyone.
· Every ignored blessing becomes a curse
· Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift.
· Frees us from the prison of self-concern.
· Ingratitude is a betrayal before God.
Several points about this story regarding gratitude:
1. We find a man who will use gratitude as part of his testimony.
This man will never forget how good Jesus was to him.
As children of God who were saved from hell and from a life in vain, gratitude should be part of our vocabulary, our thoughts, and our lives.
Psalm 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
2. We find a man who will use gratitude as a tool to make people aware of God’s greatness.
Psalm 66:16-19 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Luke 8:38-39 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
3. We find a man who is not going to let gratitude or thankfulness be a once-a-year thing.
Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
We should live each day grateful for what God has done for us.
4. We find a man who used gratitude as a catalyst to serve God always.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
We should all serve God out of gratitude for everything He has done.
The Lord wants us not to just have a prayer time, but a life of prayer, a spirit of prayer, and a tendency toward prayer throughout our day.