In Luke 17, Jesus encounters ten people with leprosy. They’re desperate to be healed, even begging Jesus to pity them. Then, after Jesus heals them, he’s impressed with the one that comes back and says “thank you.”
This Story Makes Me Wonder About Jesus
When I read the Gospels, I’m never sure how much Jesus knows. One story tells us he knew what was in the hearts of his opponents, then in another passage, we’re told that he doesn’t know when his return will be. How much did Jesus know and when did he know it?
Did he know only one of these men would return and thank him? If he did, then why did he heal all ten? Why not just heal the one that was going to be thankful to show the rest of them how ungrateful they were?
That Wasn’t the Point for Jesus, and It Can’t Be the Point for Us
When we help others, the goal isn’t to get thanked. The goal isn’t that we are recognized for our generosity. It can’t even be to get them to become Christians, although that would be great.
The goal of helping people needs to be helping people!
This message from my A Tank Full of Thankful series isn’t so much about making sure your own tank is full as it is about filling someone else’s tank. When Jesus healed this man of leprosy, he blessed him with something he couldn’t do for himself. But when the man returned to give thanks, he did something he hadn’t done in a very long time–he came near someone! As a leper, that wasn’t permitted. But now healed, he couldn’t help but run to Jesus and give thanks.
Everyone Needs Thanksgiving
There are people in our lives who may not feel like they have permission to come near to God. They might not feel like they’re welcome in his presence. But when we give bless them they know they’re welcome to come near.
There’s a message in Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers for everyone who has needed someplace to belong.