Have you ever gone out of your way to do something kind for others, only to have them ignore your effort? You stayed up past midnight to finish a report for your boss or planned a special getaway for your family. You were excited to please them, but ended up disappointed when they didn’t even say thank you.
Jesus can empathize. He once entered a village with much on His mind. He was walking to Jerusalem where He knew He would die on the cross (Luke 18:31-33). His deep thoughts were interrupted by the shouts of ten lepers, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13). Ostracized by society, they’d been shut off from family, friends, and even God. (They were not allowed to enter the temple; see Leviticus 13:45-46.) They were in agony, dying, and alone. Jesus was their only hope.
He called them over and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14), in accordance with Mosaic law, which required those cured of leprosy to offer sacrifices (see Leviticus 14:1-57). On their trip to the temple, they noticed their skin was healthy again. Their sores were gone. Shouts of joy must have startled other travelers, yet only one leper—inexplicably only one—returned to thank Jesus for his healing.
Jesus noted the ingratitude of the other nine. He said, “Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:18). He didn’t sweep their lack of response under the rug. Instead, He focused on the grateful person kneeling before Him. “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you” (Luke 17:19). Although all the lepers were healed, only one person’s gratitude led him to the Savior.
Jesus continued to heal all the way to Jerusalem, where He gave His life to heal us. May we thank Him with hearts full of gratitude today.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 4:43-54
Read Psalm 118:1-29. List the reasons the psalmist gives to thank God.
How does gratitude draw us closer to Jesus? How can we find ways to intentionally turn our hearts to gratitude each day?