July 22, 2010

Living Thankfully

Luke 17:11-19

He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:16


In Jesus’ day, leprosy was an incurable disease that forced lepers to live isolated from their families and society. They were not able to worship at the temple. They had to cry “Unclean!” whenever they came into the presence of other people.

When the lepers in this story saw Jesus, they called out to him, but not in the usual way. They cried out for mercy. And God never turns away from those who cry to him.

Do you have a difficult problem? Look to Jesus. Appeal to God. The Lord promises to respond to those who seek him with all their heart.

But when we receive God’s grace and care, are we thankful? Do we show it?

Only one of the healed lepers returned to thank Jesus. The others, who were so anxious to be healed and to return to their communities, hurried to have the priests declare them clean.

They received grace but were not truly grateful. They needed to realize—as do we—that there is one thing the Lord asks of us. God asks for our grateful thanks.

Feeling thankful and giving thanks are different things. The other nine lepers may have felt thankful. But gratitude needs to be shown.

How are we before God? Are we thankful? How often do we thank God for the grace he so freely gives us?

Loving God, thank you for making us your children. Help us to become people who not only feel appreciative but also show our thanks in any way we can. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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