“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him – and he was a Samaritan.” (Luke 17:15-16)

In those days, leprosy was a dreaded disease. It still is today. Not only is it dreaded because of what it does to a person’s skin – the pain, the discomfort, the unsightliness of it – but because it often necessitates isolation. A leprous person (at least in those days) was not to be in contact with others. They were to keep their distance.  And not only were they to keep their distance, but when anyone came within a reasonable radius they were to announce that they were “unclean.” 

How dreaded.

One day Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. As He approached a certain village, He encountered ten men with leprosy. In keeping with tradition, they kept their distance. But from a distance, they didn’t call out “Unclean, Unclean;” instead they called out, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (Luke 17:13). These men apparently knew that if they had any hope for healing, it was with Jesus.

Without hesitation, Jesus ordered them to be clean. He didn’t use those exact words, but by the fact that He sent them off to the priest implies their healing. So they went. And they were cleansed. We can only assume that from there they went off and celebrated their healing. 

But one of the ten returned to offer thanks. 

For the one who returned to thank Jesus, we know he actually received more than the others. Yes, they all received the same cleansing and healing. But for the man who returned and fell at Jesus’ feet thanking Him, the circle was complete. 

A request for a gift that is given is always to be followed by a “thank you.” And when that “thank you” happens there is a greater, fuller embracing of the gift. When a “thank you” is expressed you actually experience “immeasurably more” from the gift. When Jesus said to the man, “Raise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19). Jesus acknowledged that the man’s “thanks” was an expression of his faith. 

How about you? Have you received any gifts lately? What kind of gifts have you received from God in your life?  Maybe too many to count. But go ahead and try. Because when you recognize the gifts God gives you in your life and thank Him for them, it’s not only an expression of your faith, it’s an immeasurably more experience of the gift received.    

How can you express your “thanks” for the many gifts you have received in your life? Maybe consider a gift to your ministry’s capital campaign as a display of your faith and an expression of your thanks?  

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