OceanSide church of Christ
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by: Dalton Gilreath
As Christ journeyed to Jerusalem He came upon a village plagued with leprosy. When He arrived He saw ten lepers who carefully kept their distance from the Lord. They cried out to Him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (Luke 17:13 KJV). He told them to go to the priests and as they did all ten of them were healed. However, only one of them was spiritually made whole. When the other nine walked away after being healed, only the one turned and gave thanks to the Master. Jesus questioned him regarding the other nine and told him he was made whole by his faith (17:17-19). The other nine could have claimed to be grateful but only the one who showed it was accepted by Christ.
Thanksgiving may be a holiday that comes around once each year, but it is something Christians should practice daily. This includes more than claiming to be thankful in speech or in prayer. Notice the leper did not just turn around and speak words. He supplemented those words by throwing his entire body at the feet of Christ. That is the moment the Lord describes him as “giving him thanks” (17:16). Claiming to be thankful to the Lord is one thing. Proving that gratitude in a lifestyle is something totally different. The inference in this passage is that Christ condemned the other nine and received the faith of only the one.
This account is very symbolic and practical in the lives of Christians today. Leprosy was an incurable disease that destroyed the physical body. Sin is an incurable disease that destroys our spiritual body. The nine thought they were healed, but truly their greatest ailment had not yet been cleansed. Sincere gratitude was reflected in the decision of the one to lay down his life at the feet of Christ. That is the measure of a thankful heart today. Therefore, every individual must ask the question, “Am I one of the nine or am I the one?”