WOULD I BE THE ONE WHO WENT BACK?

in all things give thanks

(11) Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. (12) As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance (13) and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
(14) When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
(15) One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. (16) He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
(17) Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? (18) Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” (19) Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”  ( Luke 17:11-19 )

Ten lepers, forsaken and outcast by their society, seek Jesus, with the belief that He can cure them. Acknowledging Him as “Jesus, Master,” they loudly call out, pleading that He “have pity” on them. Jesus sees their plight– but does not immediately heal them. Instead, He requires an action to demonstrate faith and obedience, instructing them to go and see the priests. Each one obeys and is healed while making this journey of faith to Jerusalem. The healing is affirmed by the priests who tell each man that he can rejoin his society once again, no longer the leper to be feared.

The story is engaging. I am involved, eager to read the rest of the story in anticipation of the coming reunions and celebrations. Continuing in the Word, I envision the scenes playing out: I hear the joyous voices of the ten lepers, now healed. I see the nine running to physically embrace family and friends, an act forbidden for so long. But, then, I notice the one lingering behind, separate from the nine. Suddenly, he takes a different path, turning back to find Jesus. I view the Master through the man’s eyes and hear him “praising God in a loud voice.” I watch as this man drops to the ground, prostrate at the feet of the One who healed him. In a humble attitude of respect, thankfulness, and acknowledgment of this man Jesus–more than man, hailed as Master, worthy of honor—the healed leper gives thanks and praise.

The man’s actions move me, and I begin to ask myself, in a whisper: “Would I have been the one who went back?” Then, the inquiry with self comes and I ask aloud, “Have I been the one who praises and thanks God for daily blessings, for saving grace? — Or have I believed, obeyed, received the blessings and healing, and left like the nine, forgetting to give thanks and praise to the Master who offers me His gifts?”

                    THE REST OF THE STORY: Honor-Praise-Acknowledgment-Gratitude

Let us always remember to proclaim praise and thanksgiving with humility, respect, and honor to our Lord and Master—not just at the end of our individual life stories, but from the very beginning and on every page.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/13/15) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

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