BIBLE READING: LUKE 17:11-19; COLOSSIANS 1:12; JONAH 2:9-10
“Jesus said to him “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s Power] has restored you to health.” Luke 17:19(AMP)
The end of the year ushers in a season of thanksgiving which places the onus upon us to express our gratitude to God for all He has done thus far. The Scripture admonishes us to do this after keeping records of His faithfulness that we may “forget not all His Benefits.”(Psalm 103:2). One of the greatest benefits of thanksgiving is restoration or wholeness. However, there is one major key that unlocks this in a thanksgiver’s life.
An in-depth study of the Gospel according to Luke 17:11-19 shows us how to trigger off wholeness through thanksgiving. Our Lord Jesus was passing through the midst of Samaria and Galilee en route to Jerusalem when He encountered ten lepers standing afar off: “And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Luke 17:13(NKJV). Moved with compassion, He instructed them to go and show themselves to the priest. As they went in obedience, something remarkable happened: “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned and with a loud voice glorified God.” Luke 17:15(NKJV).
The Scripture goes on further to say that this man, overwhelmed with gratitude, fell on his face before the Lord Jesus in worship, giving Him thanks. Note the last five words of the sixteenth verse: “And he was a Samaritan.”(verse 16). Why is this relevant? Well, there were ten lepers who were healed as they went in obedience to the Lord’s instructions but only one returned to thank Him. That one was a Samaritan while the other nine were Jews.
For the purpose of context, Samaritans were the offspring of Jews who intermarried with Assyrians in the northern Kingdom of Israel after they were taken into captivity during the reign of King Hoshea. They were regarded as outcasts and scum to pure Jews and were not even allowed to assist in the rebuilding of the Temple after the exiles returned. They were treated like dogs and strangers to the Abrahamic Covenant. Even Jesus acknowledged this prejudice when He said: “Were there not found any who returned to give glory to God EXCEPT THIS FOREIGNER?”(verse 18).
What does that mean? The other nine lepers who were Jews did not see the need to return to give Jesus thanks because they saw themselves as children of Abraham who had a right to healing. After all, healing was the children’s bread (Matthew 15:26). On the other hand, the Samaritan knew that he did not qualify; it was bad enough that he wasn’t a Jew. He was a leper, a Samaritan leper for that matter. No wonder he was overwhelmed with gratitude to Jesus Christ which prompted Him to say:
“Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”(verse 19).
The word “well” in the aforementioned Scripture is derived from the Greek verb “sozo,” which means a total salvation and restoration or wholeness. Leprosy usually results in a loss of appendages as well as a loss of livelihood and relationships. The Samaritan got everything back because he gave thanks to the Lord Jesus for His extravagant grace and mercy.
The foundation for ingratitude is a sense of entitlement. In other words, it becomes much easier to offer God the thanksgiving that is due Him once you understand that He owes you nothing. The easiest way to enjoy grace is to always remember that you do not qualify for it.
Thank You so much for Your Faithfulness, Heavenly Father. We know that Thanksgiving triggers off wholeness in our lives. O Lord, we come against every entitlement mentality we may have that insulates us from grace. We honour You Lord, in the Mighty Name of Jesus.
•I am not an ingrate for an ingrate can never be great.
•I may be entitled but I do not have a sense of entitlement.