Thanksgiving should be an every day event. Before getting into the “hubbub” of Christmas, it’s good to remind ourselves that we are to be grateful for what we have. An episode in the final week of Christ’s life on earth reminds us of that.
Christ’s Mercy (Luke 17:11-19)
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Between Samaria and Galilee, he came across ten men who had leprosy and they cried out for mercy. When Jesus saw them, He told them to go show themselves to the priests and they went by faith and were cleansed. One, who was a Samaritan, returned to give praise and thanks to Jesus. His faith made him well, cleansing both his flesh and spirit.
Jesus had no fear of walking through an area that was considered off limits. His actions are an illustration of what is to come. When Jesus goes to Jerusalem, he gives his flesh for the unclean even though He is the only one clean.
Luke is trying to tell us something here as we look ahead to Christ’s death and resurrection. His message is that Jesus will go into a place that no one shows mercy to because He shows us mercy with no strings attached. He gave His flesh so that we might be made clean.
- Jesus meets us where we are. He seeks us and goes where no one else will go. We do not have to clean up our act before coming to faith in Christ.
- Jesus sees, hears, and shows mercy. He’s compassionate for those who call out for mercy.
- We are all lepers in need of mercy. Cry out for mercy.
- Forgiveness comes at a price. Ultimately it came at a price for Christ but it comes with a price for us as well. We must respond in faith to Christ and humble ourselves. Call out for mercy.
- Forgiveness demands gratitude. If Christ has done something for you, we ought to thank Him. To be thankful is to bring glory to God. It is an act of worship. It’s acknowledging that He has done something for us. To fail to do so is to demonstrate pride and selfishness. It cheapens His grace.
Nine lepers wanted what Jesus could give, to be healed and to be fed, but they didn’t want what He claimed to be — the Messiah and King of their life. The nine are an illustration of what the nation will do in a few short days. Don’t be the nine.
Gratitude is important because it brings glory to God. It is an act of worship. “…Gratitude is happiness doubled by joy.” (G.K.Chesterton) What has Jesus done for you? Have you expressed gratitude? Be grateful.