Summary: We are sometimes surprised when we hear a non-church person giving God praise for something done in their life and we are surprised by it. Maybe we are even a little embarrassed since we may have received a similar blessing but forgot to give thanks.
Is Thanksgiving a Foreign Idea to You?
Thanksgiving Day 2009
On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.
It seems I have discovered that I am as old as Thanksgiving is in Canada. I had no idea that it was in 1957 that Canada finally adopted an official day for Thanksgiving.
Many foreign countries had long adopted a special day for their Thanksgiving celebrations but Canada took some time deciding the matter.
It is for this reason that I took interest in todays scripture passage.
Some people take awhile to recognize that God is the author of their blessings.
In fact for some of us it takes a foreigner to show us how to truly express thankfulness.
We see Jesus on His way to Jerusalem walking between two border towns Samaria and Galilee. They are about 40 kilometers apart and Galilee sits north of Samaria. Jesus home town of Nazareth is in Galilee. Jerusalem lies some 100 kilometers to the south. It was more likely about 150 kilometer trip on foot.
The people of Galilee looked down on the people of Samaria as an inferior race.
Jesus is about the half way point in His trip as He comes upon a village. Ten men suffering from leprosy come out from the village and stand at a distance.
Their disease required that they keep their distance from healthy people and especially Jews since it was forbidden for a Jew to come in contact with the unclean.
Our sin is a spiritual disease that separates us from Jesus much like the leprosy that separated these men from society.
Since physical contact is prohibited they shout at Jesus as he makes his way past their village.
What they shout is very telling. They shout Jesus, Master have pity on us!
They call him by name so that means they have heard of him or about him. They call Jesus Master indicating that they are identifying themselves as Jesus subjects.
I find it interesting how many people wait until they are very sick or at deaths door before they decide to shout out to Jesus. Even then they ask for pity in regard to their circumstances. Some it seems only then recognize God as their Master.
Have you ever made such a plea to Jesus? Have you been at death’s door or seriously ill and found yourself crying out to Jesus? If so you can truly relate to these ten men.
The next thing we notice is Jesus response. Luke tells us that when Jesus saw them he gave them instructions to show themselves to the priests.
It was not their shouting that drew Jesus attention it was their appearance. Luke tells us it was when Jesus saw them that he gave them instruction. How friend do you appear to Jesus? Do you suffer from a disease like these men or does your disease go beyond your exterior appearance?
Jesus does not go over to them to wash them or pass His hands over them He just speaks to them using five words. Go show yourselves to the priests.
They were not healed until they turned away and started to follow Jesus instructions. Their healing was not done for the benefit of the crowd to see. This was very personal.
Friends we stand at a distance from Jesus and like these men we cry out for healing. Often it is our physical health that makes us want that healing touch but in reality it is our spiritual condition that is in a much worse condition.
Have you been someone who was crying out for physical healing when in fact what you truly needed was spiritual healing?
Did you follow Jesus instructions to turn and seek out those who are in Gods service?
Once we ask Jesus to heal us we must be willing to follow His instructions to us if we are to receive the blessing.
Notice friends that the ten men are cleansed as they went to carry out Jesus instructions.
We ask a lot of things of God for ourselves and many times we know what it is we must do if we want to receive the blessing but we do not follow His instructions. But we know from experience that when we do follow Jesus instructions for our lives we receive far more blessing than we could have hoped for.
All ten men are healed and continue on there way but one man a foreigner, a Samaritan returns to Jesus and throws himself at Jesus feet and thanks him.
Jesus asks the crowd with him were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?