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Returning to say ‘thank you’


Chidi Okoroafor

Text: Luke 17:11 – 19
Key Verse: Luke 17:15, “One of them (lepers), when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.” (NIV)

From the text, Jesus healed 10 men suffering from leprosy, as He went to Jerusalem through the cities of Samaria and Galilee, but only one leper returned and thanked Him. Jesus commended the healed leper. One would think Jesus in all His consecration and overwhelming sense of duty to accomplish the objectives of His ministry would not mind a ‘thank you.’ But He did. If Jesus did mind an appreciation, it is an object lesson for us.

Leprosy in Biblical times was a terrible thing. The 10 men Jesus healed were suffering from the worst disease of their day. The physical ramifications are horrendous. Leprosy attacks the body, leaving sores, missing fingers, missing toes, and damaged limbs. In many cases, the initial pain of leprosy gives way to something more terrible than that – a loss of sensation in nerve endings, leading to more damage to more body parts. The disease can take 30 years to run its course, and during that span, entire limbs can simply fall off. It is, assuredly, a most horrible disease. It is an impossible task in trying to fathom what leprosy was like 2, 000 years ago, when medical treatment, as you know it today, was almost non-existent. To the rabbis, the cure of a leper was as difficult as raising a person from the dead.

The emotional pain of a leper, however, must have been even worse than the physical pain. He was removed from his family, from his community and kept in isolation. There could be no contact, whatsoever, with his children or grandchildren. None. Immediately removed. His wife would not be allowed to kiss him goodbye. He would not have allowed it, for fear that she, too, would become afflicted.

What would it have been like to be removed from friends and family for a lifetime, and to be forced to announce that removal on a daily basis? It must have been horrible.
And yet, in this account, 10 male lepers encountered the miraculous healing power of Jesus, yet only one out of them returned to Jesus to give Him thanks. The remaining nine were nowhere to be found.

Remember, these ten lepers had been kept in isolation for so many years before Jesus healed them, yet only one returned to give thanks to God. The remaining nine lepers were very ungrateful people, because they didn’t consider it necessary to return thanks to Jesus for the miracles He performed in their lives. Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”

One of the lepers came back to Jesus, and praised God. He was thankful. He was public about it. He was loud – he wasn’t shy at all. Why was he so loud? This guy had been forced to yell for as long as he had leprosy.

You have to be thankful about the work of God’s goodness in your life. Be sure to always take out time to acknowledge God for His goodness. Be thankful, when someone does any good to you. Learn to say “thank you,” when you receive gifts from people. Say ‘thank you’ to your admirers. Give grateful hugs. Be hearty in your appreciation. When last did you appreciate your wife or husband for being good? Just a “thank you” will generate more love and practical kindness. It is simple but impactful. God demands it from us.

Grateful people receive more blessings, while ungrateful people don’t. You have to be grateful to God for the things you receive: the breaking of a new day, life and health, protection, guidance and His overshadowing presence.

Be sure to be thankful. Be sure to gather every member of your family up for a prayer of Thanksgiving that is a real prayer of thankfulness. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank God this week for all He Has done for you. And be loud about it!

Today’s Nugget: Grateful people receive more blessings, while ungrateful people don’t.
Prayer: Lord, help me imbibe the culture of always showing appreciation in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor General Superintendent Assemblies of God Nigeria

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Chidi Okoroafor
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