Wednesday, November 21, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-11-21 [Thanksgiving Thoughts] Healing and Gratitude

14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." Luke17:14-19

Ten lepers came to Jesus as a group. Leprosy made them outcasts. So much so that they banded together to come to Jesus. They found their courage in numbers. One of them was a Samaritan and Jews usually hated them, but their leprosy even overcame their racial bigotry.

They ask Jesus for healing and He sends them to the priest who would certify them cleansed. On the way they are healed - Jesus honours their faithful obedience to His command.

Maybe the other nine (who we presume to be Jewish) simply regarded healing as their right. Maybe they saw Jesus simply as an instrument of God's blessing that was their right as children of Abraham. Maybe they would have made the appropriate thank offerings at the temple. They aren't necessarily "bad" men.

But the Samaritan sees deeper. He recognises that the healing is undeserved and that the Healer is more than an instrument in God's hand. He senses that there is something special about Jesus and, in an act of worship, throws himself at Jesus' feet.

One can sense Jesus' disappointment. He had hoped to do more than simply heal ten broken bodies - he had hoped to reach ten souls. Nine of them were healed in their bodies, but it seems clear that they did not understand undeserved grace.

Only one of ten realised that what he had received was not a right, but a gift. He alone realised that the Giver was even greater than the gift. He alone was healed in body and soul.

Gratitude reminds us that we are not God and that we have no "rights" to "demand." Gratitude connects us to the Giver!

Theo Groeneveld
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