One day Jesus entered a village and “…ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Luke 17:12 NLT
The men were considered outcasts by their community, and were forced to keep their distance. Because of leprosy, the men knew what it meant to social distant from family and friends.
Leprosy was contagious with no known cure or vaccine in that day. It was a disease that caused horrific physical and emotional pain. It was bad enough to suffer physically from this dreadful disease, but the emotional stress of being separated from family and friends was almost unbearable. It must have been a miserable and lonely way of life.
Sound familiar? Our current pandemic, in many ways, has also caused separation of family and friends for millions across the world. Not being able to visit family that may be in nursing facilities, or to be with someone in the hospital are the new normal. Some have lost family and friends to this dreadful disease. And many churches are still not able to gather for corporate worship. But in the middle of a pandemic, we will give Him thanks!
Jesus “looked” at the ten men, saw their need, and responded with “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Verse 14 tells us that “as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.”
I can only imagine the ten men looking at their body and seeing before their eyes complete restoration taking place. It must have brought great joy as they thought about what this meant to them. This restoration in their life meant that they would be able to return to their village and reunite with family and friends.
One of the ten men, when he saw that he was healed, reacted differently. He returned to where Jesus was at, and this time, instead of crying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” he shouted praises to God! Verse 16 says, “He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he has done.”
In this Thanksgiving season, I encourage you to take time to give thanks. Our distress does not define our blessings, nor our difficulties describe God’s greatness.
Some of my greatest blessings comes when I take time to thank Him. Therefore, like the healed man, I will…
• Return to where the Lord is
• Rejoice and glorify God
• Reverence the Lord, with humility
• Recognize God’s greatness, by giving Him thanks