When Gratitude is Scarce

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Reading: Luke 17:11-19

“While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (NASB) www.lockman.org.

The Lord continues his journey to Jerusalem, and when he reaches a village a particular group of people comes to meet him; ten people suffering from one of the most terrible and stigmatizing diseases of the time: Leprosy. The degree of suffering of these people is so great that they have even disregarded that some are Jews and other Samaritans, people groups who usually despised each other. They are only ten people who are suffering, ten people who have been excluded from society. They can only hope that the evolution of their disease will lead them to death, or to a miracle.
Jesus passes by them, and they come to him. They cry for mercy. The Lord looks at them and simply tells them to go to the priests. Sometimes it happened that someone with leprosy healed, or that in reality he did not suffer from leprosy but something else. Those who judged that person was no longer leprous and could be reinserted into society were the priests. Thus, Jesus sends the ten lepers to address the priests.
They obey, because they believe. They have heard and even perhaps witnessed some of the miracles of the Lord. They hear the authority with which Jesus has spoken to them. And on the way the miracle happens (one of the few miracles that affects several people at once). They are clean. They are healthy.
The surprising part (or perhaps not so much) is that only one of them returns to give glory to God for the miracle he received. Luke adds an interesting detail: the only one who returns is a Samaritan, a foreigner.
These lepers were doomed to unimaginable suffering and had their lives transformed in an amazing way, but only one of them returns and gives thanks to those who have looked at him with mercy.
The faith of the returning Samaritan is the faith of one who puts his eyes on God and is not dazzled by a miracle. That kind of faith is the faith that saves. The Lord even tells the Samaritan man, “Your faith has saved you.” His companions no longer have leprosy; he receives forgiveness of his sins.
Jesus’ question still resounds, “Only one came back?” Gratitude truly is scarce.
Being grateful for Christ’s work in our lives is an indicator of our identity as children of God. Remember every day what the Lord has done and does in you. Remember his forgiveness, his love, his mercy; observe them in every circumstance of your life… And thank Him.

MEDITATE: Are we grateful? Do we glorify God in all circumstances? Do we stop to count all the mercies and blessings that we receive from Him?

Translation By: Emily Stader.

Sebastián Winkler (141)

Sebastián Winkler lives in General Pinto, a small town in the interior of Argentina, and serves the Lord in the Baptist Church of his city as a teacher of Bible studies. He is a Professor of Literature, he likes music, reading and sharing the Bible with others.
He is married to Karina they have two daughters named Julia and Emilia.
He is the main author in his blog: engraciaysabiduria.com (in spanish)

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