True thankfulness can stop us in our tracks and motivate us to action. That’s what happened to a leper whose life was forever changed by Jesus. On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee, an ethnically diverse and tense region (v. 11). After hearing cries from a group of men with leprosy, Jesus instructed them to go show themselves to the priests (vv. 12–14). Once the priests declared them healed, they would be allowed to rejoin society.
While on the journey to receive medical clearance, the lepers began to notice that evidence of their skin disease was supernaturally disappearing. We can imagine their pace quickening as their hopes of being reunited with loved ones intensified. Suddenly, one of them stopped and turned around, deciding to take a moment to thank Jesus. The actions of this one leper should teach us something as well. When Jesus gives us new life, He also gives us a message of profound thankfulness.
A detail often overlooked in this narrative is that this man was a Samaritan, a foreigner (vv. 16, 18). Not only was he an outsider because of his leprosy, but he was also an outcast to the outcasts because he was from Samaria. Nonetheless, because of what Jesus did, he was drastically moved to an attitude of thankfulness. This man was healed both physically and, more importantly, spiritually. His faith in Christ’s authority over the powers of this world made him well (v. 19). This thankfulness to God would travel with him for the rest of his life. And thankfulness is a part of our new life in Christ also. This new message of thankfulness for what the Lord has done in our lives ought to travel with us wherever we go. Be someone who is quick to thank God, even if you are standing alone.
>> When you thank the Lord for His work in your life, don’t forget to thank those around you who have helped and supported you along the way
Lord, you meet our material, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs. You shower us with blessings. Our sufferings shrink in comparison to your mercies. May we meditate today on your gifts!