Luke 17:17Posted 11/22/21, by Dan Vis
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it might be nice to do a little study into what Jesus said and taught about thankfulness.
The Psalms are full of praise and thanksgiving, and the Epistles exhort us to do more of the same--but what did Jesus have to say on the subject?
To take our first stab at the subject, let's begin with this verse from the book of Luke:
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
I'm sure you remember the context. While traveling through Samaria and Galilee on the way to Jerusalem, Jesus encountered ten lepers. And they begged Him to heal them.
Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests, and "it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed". Powerful point in that verse alone!
But for today, let's zoom in on the next couple verses, where we read that one of those men, as soon as he realized he was healed, turned and went back to find Jesus, praising God with "a loud voice". He "fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks" (Luke 17:16-1716 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?).
There it is: raw thankfulness.
And that's where Jesus asked the disciples--where are the other nine? Why has only one "returned to give glory to God"? From which we learn at least two things:
1) First, that thankfulness is not all that common. And especially in these last days, where Paul warns men would be unusually "unthankful" (II Timothy 3:1-21 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,).
2) Giving thanks is a powerful way to give glory to God. It's a way to acknowledge, and even point people to, the goodness of God. Or to quote Paul again, to do things "without murmurings and disputings" (ie, complaining) is to "shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:14-1514 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;).
Even more exceptional, perhaps, is the fact that one man who did return was a Samaritan. A foreigner. I'm speculating now, but it's possible the others, presumably all Jews, may have felt some measure of entitlement. That they somehow deserved healing as a result of their lineage. Whereas this "stranger" no such assumptions, making him all that much more grateful.
Which leaves us with a good introductory question to explore our own heart. Are we truly grateful for the blessings of God, or live the more common life of unthankfulness. And connected, do we consistently give glory to God for His goodness, or are we quicker to grumble and complain?
And if we're not as thankful as we should be, is it because we somehow feel entitled to blessings? That we somehow deserve them--perhaps because of our walk with God?
Important questions. More on this subject tomorrow...
|Posted by Carla Phillips on 11/26/21|
|I need to be more thankful, it's so easy when you are tired, have had a long day at work to complain and not be thankful, something I need to pray about daily 🙏|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 11/22/21|
|I think all of us probably receive many more blessings from heaven than we acknowledge Poly. I'm glad Jesus healed all 10, but I'd like to be the one who returned to give God thanks! Nice prayer.|
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