What is the worst illness you’ve ever faced? Jesus encountered many sick people in His ministry. Jesus restored sight to the blind. He straightened the legs of the crippled. He brought healing to multitudes. In Luke 17 Jesus comes across ten men who were inflicted with a horrible disease. These men were in a hopeless situation. They were helpless to eradicate their deplorable condition. These men had been banned from their home towns and were labeled unclean. Nobody wanted anything to do with them out of fear for their own well-being. These ten men were outcasts. These ten men were isolated to a life of solitude. These ten men were doomed to die an agonizing death. These ten men were lepers.
As Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem he met this group of outsiders. In Luke 17:13 we hear the desperation in their voices as they cried out with a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” As Jesus had done many times before, he heard their cry for help and cleansed them of their terminal diseases.
What happens next in this story is tragic. Ten men had received a tremendous gift from the hand of the Savior. These men could now return to their homes, to their jobs, to their lives because Jesus had compassion on each of them…and now for the tragic part of the story. Ten men were inflicted with leprosy. Ten men were healed. Only one returned and said thank you. Look at Luke’s description of this scene in Luke 17:15-16. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.”
Earlier all ten were crying out with a loud voice for help. Only one cried out with a loud voice to express thanks. Where were the other nine? Why weren’t they expressing their gratitude for the tremendous gift they had received? Ten were healed. Only one expressed gratitude.
When was the last time you expressed thanks to Jesus for all he has given you? Jesus gave these ten men a great blessing. They were given the gift of life. Jesus brings life to all people. Just as Jesus cleansed these ten lepers of their horrible disease, Jesus cleanses us from the disease of sin. Jesus brings life. When did you last say thank you for this gift?