Summary: If someone should ask you what is one thing that you can think of to thank Jesus for this morning? What would be your answer? What type of attitude do you have concerning His love for you?
If someone should ask you what is one thing that you can think of to thank Jesus for this morning? What would be your answer? Well for me, I want to thank Jesus for always being with me from my earliest existence until this present moment, if it were not for Him, I know that I would not be here today. I once lived a life in which I was too mean to live and not fit to die—but Christ saved me, and I thank Him for that.
In fact, there are so many things I can thank Him for until there is not enough time or space for me to do so in this setting. However, the number one reason I thank Him is because He died for me on Calvary’s cross. I thank Him because His Name is above all other Names; I thank Him for reaching way down in order to lift me up! I actually was “…sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shores” I know you have your reasons for thanking Him, and you should thank Him.
But should you give thanks for the good things of life only, or should you also give thanks for the bad? Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” In other words, ‘…I am strong’ because I totally rely on the God’s strength. The Bible has a lot to say when it comes to giving thanks. And here in our text, is the story of the ten lepers who were all healed by Jesus but only one came back, and he said, “I just want to say thank you Lord.” (emphasis mine)
It boggles my mind, to see so many people blessed with wonderful jobs, live in wonderful homes, drive wonderful cars, marries a wonderful spouse, raise wonderful children, enjoy wonderful week-ends, everything they have is wonderful—but not one time do they ever take the time to tell the Lord, thank you. On Sunday morning you will find them at the golf course or at some expensive café enjoying a Sunday brunch. It bothers me, I know it shouldn’t bother me but I confess, it does.
When the Lord has done so much for them or rather He allowed them to acquire so much, and they just can’t take a moment, take a little time out just to say thank you—that bothers me. Why does this bother me? It bothers me because an ungrateful heart can lead us to away from God, if we are not away from Him already. So many times we look to Jesus for help and He comes through. Once He comes through, some of us act as if nothing ever happened.
I expect the world to be ungrateful but not those of us who are Christians. Ungrateful Christians seem to miss what the Bible teaches on how having a thankful heart, and praise/worship are connected, and they usually don’t enter into the praise and worship service in the proper manner, instead they are unhappy about the temperature, songs, volume, leader, the offering, etc. It seems that an oxymoron would be “ungrateful Christian”. They do not “…enter His house with praise…” the story is told about a pastor who remodeled the doors of his church, which led to the sanctuary.
Initially, the doors were the standard size 6’ 8” but he had the contractor lower the height of the doors to 5’ 6”. A curious staff member asked the pastor why would he do such a thing? And the pastor answered, this seems to be the only way I can get some of my members to humble themselves when they enter the church house—they are now forced to bow when they enter God’s sanctuary. Hopefully we will never have to go such methods but the point is we need to always humble ourselves and be grateful before the Lord.
In our text, Jesus heals ten men with leprosy. But the story does not end with the healing. One of the ten comes back to thank Jesus for what He has done for him. In this story we will learn at least three different lessons from the ten lepers about the difference between ungrateful people and grateful people.
1. The Lesson On Need
These ten lepers had a great need; they were all very desperate men because they all had the disease known as leprosy, which was the most feared disease of their time. Leprosy is still in the world today but through great medical advancements there are now treatments available. However, during this time there was absolutely no cure. Those who contracted this particular disease were placed in what was called a “Lepers colony” some colonies were located on mountains or in remote locations in order to ensure quarantine, some on main roads, where donations would be made for their upkeep.