Remember to Be Thankful…

Posted on March 28, 2015
Filed Under From Daily Readings, General, Reading the Gospels | 6 Comments

In Luke chapter 17, Jesus was approached by 10 men who were afflicted by leprosy. They called upon Jesus to show mercy to them, thus asking for Him to heal them of their leprosy. Jesus sent them to the priests, which was required for them to be able to reintegrate with the rest of the people once they were healed. As they traveled along, they realized that they were indeed healed. Of the 10 men who were healed, only one returned to thank Jesus for what He had done for them. We are not told what happened with the other 9 men.

Often, when reading an account such as this one, we are amazed at the actions of the participants. How could these men be so ungrateful as to fail to return to thank Jesus for such an amazing gift? Surely we would never respond in such a way! We would, we believe, be like the one man who did think to return to Jesus and express his thankfulness!

Before going further, it should be noted that all of these men should have returned to thank Jesus for what He did for them. This seems evident from the rebuke, though mild it may be, that Jesus proclaimed at the end of this account:

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17–18)

With such an amazing blessing bestowed upon them, how could they fail to return to Jesus and offer up thanks? And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, it is pretty evident that the nature of people has not changed much in the last 2000 years! When it comes to being thankful for what God has done for us, it is quite easy to forget to be thankful!

We, for example, often spend a lot of time praying to God, asking for His blessings. We pray for physical blessings, we pray for health, we pray for healing in time of sickness or injury, and we pray for comfort at the sorrowful time of losing a loved one. But, when we are overwhelmingly provided for, we recover from our illness or injury, and we are comforted in time of sorrow, do we remember to go back to God in prayer and thank Him for what He has provided? Do we remember that He is the one who provides these things for us?

Why are we not thankful?

Perhaps the best way to correct our unthankfulness is to identify what causes us to be unthankful. There are many different reasons that we might be unthankful, and all cannot be identified in one short article. But, here are a few to consider:

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13–14).

However, when it comes to being thankful, it is imperative that we look back, see what God has done, acknowledge His blessing, and thank Him for caring for us!

There is no justifiable reason for us to fail to be thankful to God for His answering of our prayers. We are not told why these 9 men were unwilling to return to Jesus and offer their thanks to Him. Perhaps we have difficulty identifying why we fail to be thankful as we should. We should realize that being unthankful is a serious issue, and therefore we must be diligent to show thankfulness:

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good… (2 Timothy 3:2–3)