The Ungrateful 9
“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ He looked at them and said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
“Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.’” (Luke 17:11-19)
I have experienced many miracles throughout my life, from small ones like car repairs costing hundreds instead of the expected thousands, to the Lord saving my life as a newborn baby who couldn’t breathe. God has always been there, always saving me. But as I read through those nine verses in Luke 17, I reflected on how many times I had been like the ungrateful nine. Jesus healed ten men and only one returned to praise God and thank Jesus for the miracle. More often than I would probably like to admit, I look more like one of the nine who didn’t return, than the Samaritan that did. I take my blessing from the Lord and I continue on with my day. We live such busy lives in a fast-paced culture, we can even neglect to say thank you to the people around us! When it comes to praising God for all He’s given us, I know I can fall short and be like the nine men who continued on their way, accepting the miracle without giving praise and thanks to God.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
The most important thing about praising God is not how you do it, but the heart behind it. One thing that can help with cultivating and maintaining a thankful heart is keeping a Thankfulness Journal. Write down a few instances that come to mind when you think of the ways God has blessed you or saved you over the years. When you experience a new blessing—and no blessing is ever too small—add it to the journal! Reflecting on His faithfulness to you is good for the soul and will help to cultivate a thankful heart.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
Singing is another way to praise and thank the Lord. David was certainly a person for whom singing and dancing was an act of worship. He danced through the streets to praise God and thank Him for His blessings, and many of the psalms David wrote are praises to God.
“Praise the LORD! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!” (Psalm 147:1)
So who do you want to be like: the one who returned to praise God and thank Jesus for the miracle or the nine who took their miracle and kept on walking? Work hard to cultivate a grateful heart and an attitude of thankfulness to God for all He has done for you. Recognize the miracles you receive each day and return your praise to our great God.
“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.