While Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem from Galilee, ten lepers came to Him begging for mercy. The Scripture says that He had compassion on them and told them to go show themselves to the priest. Taking Jesus at His word, they went and on their way, they got healed. Their horrible condition left them and whatever ravages the terrible disease had on their bodies were gone.
One of the ten came back praising God and thanking Jesus for His healing. Jesus was glad someone came to give thanks. But at the same time, He was sad that only one of them returned to say ‘Thank you’. His eyes were peering in the distance asking, “Were there not ten who were healed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:11-19).
Someone wondered why the nine did not return to give thanks for their healing. And the following reasons are suggested:
- One waited to see if the cure was real.
- One waited to see if it would last.
- One said he would see Jesus later.
- One decided that he had never had leprosy.
- One said he would have gotten well anyway.
- One gave glory to the priests
- One said, “O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
- One said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”
- One said, “I was already much improved.”
The above possible reasons why the nine lepers who were healed didn’t return to give thanks describe the attitude of the naturally ungrateful human heart. It shows how we are when we are unappreciative of what God has done for us and unthankful for the countless blessings we receive from His beneficent hand. We are proud, self-sufficient, indifferent, apathetic, arrogant and downright ungrateful.
God does not need our gratitude to fell good or happy. But just the same He is grieved when we are ungrateful and fail to acknowledge His blessings. He looks for us whenever we neglect to give Him our thanks.
Do we keep Him waiting to receive the thanks and gratitude that He deserves?