The Tenth Leper
Bible Reading: Luke 17:11-19
He fell face down on the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. Luke 17:16
HE’S ONE OF the nameless people in the Bible, one of ten lepers who saw Jesus at a distance and cried, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He’s the one who went back to thank Jesus. Wouldn’t it be cool to travel back in time and talk to that leper?
“Yeah,” he might say, if he could talk to us, “it was something, all right! Jesus said to show ourselves to the priests. So, even though we didn’t feel any different, we started heading that way. All of a sudden I noticed my hand—it wasn’t white anymore! The leprosy had disappeared! And then I pinched it—and it hurt! My hand was no longer numb. That was sweet, the sweetest pain I ever felt.”
The old man leans forward to hear your next question. “Well, I stopped right then and there. I didn’t need any priest to tell me I was healed; I knew it! There was no doubt. One minute I was a leper, and the next minute, I wasn’t.” He snaps his fingers. “Just like that!”
He pokes a stubby finger behind one ear and scratches. “That’s when I turned back to find Jesus. I ran back toward the village, and there he was, almost in the same place he was in before. I just pushed my way through the crowd and dropped at his feet. I could hardly speak, I was so happy, but I had to say thank you!”
He shakes his head. “I thought the others would be close behind me,” he says. “I didn’t know I was the only one until Jesus looked around and said, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?’ That was the first I knew that none of the others had come. But that didn’t bother me. I mean, no matter what the others did, I just had to say thank you after what he’d done for me, you know? I mean, wouldn’t you have done the same?”
Ah, that’s a pretty good question, isn’t it? After all, think of all the Lord has done for you; hasn’t he given you many blessings? Hasn’t he been good to you in a hundred—a thousand—different ways? No matter what others may do, such a good God deserves your thanks and your praise—don’t you think so?
REFLECT: Whom have you been more like in the past: the tenth leper (who showed his gratitude to Jesus) or the other nine (who didn’t thank him at all)? If you were to thank the Lord for all the good things he’s done for you, how long do you think it would take you? How can you be more like the tenth leper from now on?
ACT: Take a single sheet of notebook paper. List at least three or four things you thank God for today. Add three or four things to your list every day, until every white space on the sheet is covered with thanks to God.
PRAY: “Lord, you have done so much for me and given so much to me. I especially thank you today for___________.”