Bro. Bobby Reno
ONE THANKFUL LEPER
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me. Psalm 50:15
This passage is likely a very familiar one. We are taught from a child that we are to call on Jesus with whatever need we may have, and that He will hear and answer our prayers. While that is true, and I’m so very thankful for it, there is more to it than that. The last part of the verse says, “… and you will honor Me.” My stomach ties in knots as I wonder how many times God has rescued me and I failed to thank Him and give Him the honor.
This morning, as I read Luke 17, I read something I know I have read numerous times before. But this time something different spoke to me. In Luke 17:11-19, Doctor Luke records the story of the 10 lepers. He tells us that Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem and passed between Samaria and Galilee. He met ten men who knew who He was and cried out to Him to heal them. Jesus simply told them to go show themselves to the priest. All ten men did as Jesus had instructed, and along their journey to see the priest, they noticed that they were healed. Nine of the men continued on their way to see the priest. But one man turned around and went back to Jesus. Luke tells us that when this man reached Jesus, he fell at His feet and thanked him. The moral of the story has always been that we need to acknowledge where our blessings come from and to give God thanks and praise. So the one man who returned to Jesus gets a gold star in our book. The others receive our judgment (which is never a good idea). How could they receive such a miraculous healing and not give thanks to the Healer? Could it be because they were all Jews who knew the Jewish law? Even though they were healed, they only way they could be permitted to be back with their families was to receive a clean bill of health from the priest. In verse 16 are the words that I have always overlooked, “He fell facedown at His feet thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. “ It’s probably that I’m just slower than the rest of you, but I had never thought about how this man, not being a Jew, did not know or follow Jewish law. All he knew was that he had been healed and Jesus was the one who healed him. His logical response was to return and thank Jesus for such a priceless gift of healing.
Upon returning to give thanks, Jesus gave him a second blessing that was much greater than the first. Jesus told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.” This makes me wonder how many other blessings I have missed out on because I failed to thank Jesus and to give Him glory. I want this passage of scripture to change me from this point on so that I never fail to give God the honor He is due. And to be honest, I don’t want to miss out on anything more that God has in store for a grateful heart.