• Keith Harris

The Heart of Thanks


There were ten. As Jesus was passing between Samaria and Galilee, He entered a village where He met ten lepers who stood off at a distance. It was the customary thing to do for lepers to stand off from others because they were considered “unclean.” They cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (Luke 17:13). When He saw them, Jesus gave a simple command, “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14). The Bible tells us that as they were making their way to the priests, they were healed. All of them.

One of them, upon noticing that he had been healed, turned back, praised God with a loud voice, and fell at the feet of Jesus, giving thanks to Him. As is the case with many stories told in the gospels, the “hero” of the story is the most unlikely character. Luke makes known the nationality of this one that returned to give thanks. This cleansed leper that returned to give thanks was a Samaritan.

Jesus’ response is haunting. “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner” (Luke 17:17-18). How often have we failed to return and give praise to God? The heart of thanks cannot help but recognize the wonderful blessings God grants to His people. We have been blessed beyond measure by God who loves us more than we can imagine. There were ten. Let’s be the one!

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