The story of the healing of the ten lepers, which is found in Luke 17:11-19, continues to remain one of my favorite stories of the bible. Over the past twenty years, I’ve heard countless sermons delivered from this text, yet, the spiritual insights revealed in this brief passage of scripture do not dim or fade over the course of time. In short, Jesus encountered ten people who were afflicted with leprosy. They asked Jesus for help and healing, and Jesus told them to go to the priest. As they were going to the priest, the people were healed. Nine out of the ten neglected or perhaps refused to say “thank you” to God or Jesus for their restored health. However, the text says that there was one person who had both the inclination and the audacity to thank Jesus for healing him.
Even though the story was recorded in salvation history approximately two-thousand years ago, the insights provided by the scripture are as relevant today as they were during Jesus’ day. We too know people who have asked God for assistance or a miracle and forgot or refused to thank God when they received it. We too know people who have listened to the voice of God (like the lepers who were going to the priest), stepped out on faith (with their marriages, businesses, academic goals and career plans), and received a blessing before they even reached their goal. We too know people who were not ashamed to give God glory in their homes, at their jobs or even among strangers because they recognized, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God had been good to them. Yes, the story of the healing of the ten lepers may be two-thousand years old; however, the insights are as relevant today as they have been for thousands of years.
As I reread this passage of scripture during this season of Thanksgiving, I am encouraged by the one leper who glorified God after his body was healed. I remain in awe of this “one thankful soul” because there have been times in my life when I forgot to thank God for all of the manifold blessings that God unceasingly poured upon me. During this Thanksgiving season, I stand with the one leper who glorified God after he was healed (Luke 17:15). If you neither had had the time nor the inclination to glorify God for all that God had done in your life, I invite you to give God the glory today and during this Thanksgiving season. For all that God has done, for all that God is doing, and for all that God will do, during this Thanksgiving season, we pause to say “thank you.”