Photo Credit: Cristian Newman.
In the Bible, the 17th Chapter of Luke records an encounter Jesus had with ten lepers. The text indicates that they stood far off and cried out for Jesus to have mercy on them. And He did. At first it appears as if He had done nothing for them because all He said was “Go show yourselves to the priests”. (Leviticus chapter 13 explains why) The ten lepers, not knowing what, if anything had been done, were obedient nonetheless and started on their way.
But as they were walking away, one of them looked down at himself and realized he had been healed and his leprosy was gone. So, he ran back and fell at Jesus’ feet glorifying Him and giving Him thanks. That leper’s behavior was a demonstration of his extreme gratitude. In the midst of this leper’s worship, Jesus asks the question, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
Oftentimes, when we Christians hear or tell that story we shake our heads in disbelief that those nine lepers, who were also healed by Jesus could be so ungrateful. That’s because we identify with the one who came back to say thank you and not with the ungrateful nine. But is that accurate? I know we think we show gratitude to God that is directly proportional to that which He is due. I know we probably thank Him when we get a raise, or can afford that new car or dream home, or when we find that item we have been salivating over for the last six months at 50% off.
But do we awaken each and every day and thank Him that we opened our eyes? Do we thank Him for our places of employment, whether we like the job and salary or not? Do we thank Him for the spouse who gets on our last nerve or the children who are disobedient? Do we thank Him each time we or our loved ones reach a destination safely? Are we able to thank Him even when that aggravating spouse walks out leaving behind a pile of bills and four hungry mouths to feed? Can we still fall at the feet of Jesus in worship and gratitude even when we lose the job, ain’t got no money and the car was repossessed?
I know it may sound crazy but the Bible does tell us to thank God in everything (I Thessalonians 5:18), not necessarily for everything. The question I’m really asking is, are we grateful to God for what He can do for us and the “stuff” He can give us? Or are we simply grateful that HE IS. So, before you rush to judge those ungrateful nine lepers, when you wake up tomorrow morning look in the mirror and answer this question, are you more like the nine or are you the one?