Luke records ten lepers who came to Jesus with their physical need. Out of options and waiting to die, the lepers had given up all hope except to plead their case to Jesus. It’s unknown who the ten lepers were, as there are no attributing names, but we do know that the one who came back to Jesus was called a stranger, i.e., a foreigner (NIV). He was a Samaritan; an outcast; somewhere in between Jew and Gentile.
I’ve looked into the healing of the lepers: I’ve preached the Difference between being Healed and being Whole. It is found here in Luke 17 and the answer is Worship. Yet there is something else that leaps forward. The leper who returned, came back to say, “Thank You.” Jesus didn’t have to heal them. It was not His mission. He came to die and become the ransom for the world. He came to save people from their sins, but on that day, ten men were changed from waiting to die to learning to live. We know that the difference between the one and the others was Worship, but it was rooted in thankfulness. Thankfulness separated him from the crowd. Thankfulness defined him and ultimately brought about his wholeness. Incredibly, the outcast; stranger; the leper was thankful.
If the numbers add up, only 10% of the healed are thankful. Just a fraction actually come to realize that what has happened to them is beyond the point of salvation. Healing and God’s provisions; blessings of every kind; a good church family; friends filled with love; the freedom to worship in a country like ours, and so much more are beyond the realm of salvation. We could be saved without all these blessings, but God has been good to us. Knowing the goodness of the Lord and His healing power, it is imperative that we live a life of Thankfulness. Our worship today is giving Thanks for all He has done.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole