The narrative of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) wherein only one returned giving thanks and magnifying God in Jesus is an essential reminder that Christians ought to have–an attitude of gratitude. Clearly, in the last verse, the healing was more than physical but also the Samaritan’s inner spiritual being. The moral of the story is that others will not be as grateful as that one person who returned to praise God and glorify Him.
I am aware that we can easily be tempted to apply this to ourselves being the giver of blessing and not receiving any appreciation or “thank you” in return. However, that is not the point here. The focus is not on the one who received healing but the One who deserves the recognition and glory, God.
In the last verses, it simply describes that being ungrateful robs the glory intended for God. Whenever we are ungrateful with all these blessings we receive from God both spiritually and physically, we are declaring that God does not deserve to be praised. There is a strong correlation between giving thanks and giving glory to God (vv. 15-18). Hereafter, being ungrateful is also robbing God’s glory, being selfish, useless, and evil.
With all the distractions that happened to us last year and even this year, pandemic, several burnt bridges or relationships, unforgiveness, technological shift, economic challenges, flood, and a lot more, we become focused more on ourselves being ungrateful rather than realizing that we can still breathe, we can still communicate to our family, we can still laugh and have good conversations with our friends. Take note that this does not mean we need to reduce or minimize nor moralize the pain and suffering we went through.
I am stating that Christ’s gospel can transform any situation or story from vanity, pain, hopelessness, and misery to a wonderful, graceful, and joyful story. Again, more than just physical healing, the Samaritan encountered much meaningful healing–something that is eternally enjoyed in Christ.
Moreover, do not take having an attitude of gratitude even on small things for granted. Above noted that we should not rob this praises and glory from God. Next, being ungrateful is somehow Satanic or evil, in the context of robbing the glory from God.
Remember Lucifer robbed God’s glory because of pride (Ezekiel 28:15-18). Lucifer was ungrateful to the role given by God to him. He chose more praises, more greed, more glory for himself rather than pointing all these to God.
Lastly, being ungrateful is useless and dangerous. “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died (Acts 12:21-23). Still in the context of robbing God’s glory by being ungrateful–claiming for yourself rather than recognizing God’s gracious glory.
For Christians, the proper response is gratefulness. Many times, Paul declared that we ought to rejoice in all circumstances, always. In the book of Philippians more than ten times (16 to be exact) he proclaimed to rejoice and be thankful to God. Furthermore, in Thessalonians 5:18, he said, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
An attitude of gratitude is a must behavior for Christians. Wisely studied as well to stop frowning, it makes us old faster; start smiling and declaring God’s glory by being grateful, thankful, and rejoicing. (just some humor here)
Again, in Luke 17:15-16, “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. The response for many things in the challenges of life is being grateful. Our faith has an intrinsic nature of being thankful.
Such attitude of gratefulness, respect, reverence, and expression of faith was portrayed by the Samaritan, a former leper, understandably as a double outcast of their society, yet still, because of Christ’s gracious healing, he was transformed and “made well.”
How grateful are you today? this year? Happy Thanksgiving!
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