One day Jesus was walking through a town, and he came across ten men who had leprosy. Leprosy was a disease that had no cure and when someone had this, they were cast out of their village and made to live away from everyone else.
The ten men knew Jesus had healed others and they called out to him to heal them. His reply was for them to show themselves to the priests, who were the ones that had to declare someone ‘clean’ or ‘unclean’.
As they headed towards town, towards the priests, they realized that they truly were being healed, as they stepped out in faith.
They were so excited as they leaped and ran towards the village, but one man stopped, turned around, threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him for the healing.
Jesus looked at the man who was singing out his thanks to God. He said. “But weren’t there ten who were healed, where are the other nine?”Then Jesus told him. “You can go now, your faith has saved you and made you better.”
Why did only one man return? It could be that the other nine did not come back and say thank you for the same reasons people do not thank God today.
Perhaps one leper simply forgot to say thank you and another may have been too shy. Maybe one was too proud. Perhaps another leper was excited about being healed or lost his way and could not find Jesus again. It could be one was too busy, there was lot of living to catch up on.
One leper may not have come back to say thank you because the priest told him he did not have to. This man always did what others told him, without thinking for himself. The seventh leper may not have said thank you because he did not understand what had happened to him. The eighth leper may not have gone back to see Jesus because he simply saw no reason to do so. He had never said thank you to anyone for anything.
Perhaps the last leper wandered away so happy, he hardly noticed where he was going. Only one leper of the ten saw how Jesus heals the whole person. As happens so often, the others took the gift God gave them for granted. God often gives us what we need. How often do we thank Him?
On this day of expressing our gratitude, will you be like the one?