There is an account in Luke 17 that is appropriate for us to think about this Thanksgiving Day. The Lord Jesus was leaving the north of Israel, traveling south toward Jerusalem. He was walking along the Jordan Valley passing through Samaria and the lower Galilee. He then entered an unnamed village. It is as if He knew He had an appointment there. As He entered, the Lord encountered ten men who were lepers. These lepers stood far off. As lepers, they were social outcasts. No one would want to have anything to do with them.
As Jesus approached, the lepers raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”, (Luke 17:13). Jesus responded with just six words, but they were pregnant with meaning. He said to them, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests (vs.14). The Mosaic Law dedicated a full chapter with 57 verses (Leviticus 14) to instruct the priests how to determine if a leper was cured and permitted back into society. Jesus usually cured people who had infirmities instantly, but this time it was different. Immediately the ten lepers began to head for Jerusalem and the priests.
“And it came to pass, that as they (all ten of them) went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God” (vs. 14-15). How, specifically did he glorify God? We read, “And he fell down on his face at Jesus feet, giving Him thanks” (vs. 16).
I am always saddened by the fact that only one came back to give thanks. Making this account even more stirring, on the one hand, and heart-rendering, on the other, is the fact that this healed leper who thanked the Lord was the most unlikely of the ten – a Samaritan. The other nine were Jewish men who had the advantage of possessing the Old Testament Scriptures.
At one time, we were all spiritual lepers – unclean and separated from God. But Jesus cleansed us through His blood and brought us intimately into the family of God. May we all, like the one thankful leper who was healed, always turn back and every day with a loud voice give thanks to God for so great a salvation.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!