“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine – where are they?’” Luke 17:15-17
We glorify God when we recognize what He has done for us by giving thanks. God’s not looking for a repayment which would be impossible, but He is looking for our sincere thanks for the good things He does for us. How sad that Jesus would have to ask, “The nine – where are they?” Why didn’t they come back and thank Jesus? Probably for some of the same reasons you and I don’t spend more time giving thanks.
- Maybe they were too busy. Now that they received their healing there were a hundred things they needed to do. They needed to return to their families; they needed to look for work; they needed to make up for lost time. Thanksgiving is a simple thing but it does take time which is a precious commodity. Make it a priority to devote time every day to just stop and give thanks to God.
- Maybe they had a chip on their shoulder. “God owes me…” When we feel like God owes us anything we start taking His blessings as payments for our devotion and service instead of that which He has freely given us out of His love and grace. Maybe the nine were angry at God because of their leprosy so when they were healed it didn’t produce gratefulness, but more like, “it’s about time.” It is good to remember that God owes you and me nothing. “Who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?” (Romans 11:35)
- Maybe they were overly focused on themselves. When our lives are all about us we miss the big picture and fall into the delusion that we are independent. Remember, every breath we draw comes from the God who made us, and we continue to exist only due to His mercy. He’s the sun we orbit around, so we need to be careful not to make ourselves the middle. There is no greater use of the breath He has lent us than to give thanks back to God.