Summary: 10 were healed, but only 1 returned to thank the Lord. I want to be the one who expresses thanksgiving for all the Lord’s blessings.
As we open our Bibles once again to the Gospel of Luke, we are reminded that it was penned by Luke the physician. Luke, a Greek, was a well educated man who was used of the Lord to pen two books of our New Testament, The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.
As Mark had written for the Romans, so Luke wrote for the Greeks. The Greeks were a very intellectual people and Luke’s Gospel was written in a polished literary style and in a more classical style than the others.
Luke was much more detail oriented than the other Gospels, as is evidenced by the fact that Luke contains more parables in His account than any other author. Luke also seems to enjoy showing us a picture of the Saviour at work, as evidenced by the fact that gives us a great number of the miracles that Christ did. Luke’s Gospel contains miracles of healing, miracles of raising people from the dead, miracles of casting out demons, and miracles of great power, such as feeding the 5,000 and calming the storms. This morning, we are going to focus on one of the healing miracles of our Lord. In doing so this morning, I believe we will see what is far too often a common trend. We see the Lord’s power being used to make a difference in someone’s life, yet they do not take the time to stop and say thank you. Let’s read about it this morning.
Read Luke 17:11-19
All about town, there are sure signs that it is getting close to Thanksgiving, the day set aside that we are supposed to be thankful. As you ride through neighborhoods, you see giant inflatable turkeys in yards. When you go through the supermarket you see turkeys on sale, along with the needed ingredients for dressing and pies and all the other trimmings needed to make a glorious Thanksgiving Day feast. You go through the department stores and you see all the Christmas decorations on bright display. Yes, people are making all the needed preparations for a wonderful and full Thanksgiving Day. Families are making their gathering plans, who is bringing what, who is coming when, who will be there, who won’t be. Who’s bringing the turkey, who’s bringing the desert, who’s bringing this and that. Travel plans and arrangements are being made by people who will be traveling to see family and friends. Yet I am afraid that in all our planning and all our details, there is often times one detail, one thing that is seemingly left out. The need to be thankful. We often get so caught up in all that is going on that we forget the true purpose, the real meaning of the day. We forget the origins of Thanksgiving and that the heart of it all is to set aside a day to be thankful.
Did you realize that the first Thanksgiving took place in 1611 in Virginia. The winter of 1610 had been devastating to Jamestown, so much so that the population had been reduced from 409 settlers to a mere 60 survivors. It certainly would not seem that they had a lot to be thankful over. They were left with little to no supplies and 85% of their population did not survive the harsh winter. Rather than give up, they began to pray for much needed supplies to help them make it. Obviously they had no way of communicating, so they had no way of reaching out to ask for help. They did not know how or when supplies would come, but they knew their only hope was to pray. Imagine their excitement when a ship arrived from England full of food and supplies. They set up a prayer meeting and thanked God for His provision and His goodness. You would think that after seeing so many of their loved ones die due to the hardships of the New World, they would not feel that thankful. However, the opposite was true. They realized they had much to be thankful for.
We ourselves often don’t realize how blessed we are, or how thankful we ought to be, until what we have is threatened to be taken away. It is good and fitting that as Christians, we ought to celebrate Thanksgiving, not just once a year but on a daily basis, for God has certainly been good to every singular one of us. Someone once said that gratitude is the source for all other Christian virtues. If that be the case, then perhaps we need to reason that ingratitude may well be the source of all, or at least many of our faults as well. What seems to happen so often though is that we begin to take for granted what God has done for us, and we then become calloused and filled with pride. We think God owes it to us, that we deserve His blessings, that we have earned them somehow. When we reach that point, that attitude, then God can no longer use us.