The story captured in Luke 17:11-19 is indeed an interesting one. In the story narrated, ten lepers begged Jesus to have mercy on them. In other words, they were requesting healing. Having heard their plea, Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest. On their way to the priest, the lepers were healed.
At this, one of the lepers who noticed he was healed turned back to show gratitude to Jesus. Jesus was shocked to see that only one of the lepers came back to express gratitude after a mighty miracle just happened in their lives. For the others, going to the priest was more important than coming back to say thank you to Jesus. Just maybe, a crowd might have gathered around the other nine lepers trying to know more about the miracle that just happened. Definitely, a miracle like the disappearance of leprosy must have attracted some crowd. This might have carried the other nine lepers away from what really mattered: showing God gratitude. What a shame it was!
Be One Out Of Ten
From Luke 17:11-19, we find a striking statistic of how many people express gratitude after a good thing has been done for them. Only one out of the ten lepers came back to say thank you to Jesus, that is, only one out of ten people show gratitude.
In some way, this Biblical statistic still proves true in our generation today. Only a few people show gratitude in our world. Most people find it difficult to say “thank you” to God and people who have done some good to them in the past. Other people still go ahead to betray people who have been good to them in the past. How ungrateful can people be!
God hates ingratitude. This was why Jesus lamented in Luke 17:17, “But where are the nine?” Jesus wondered why only one leper came back to express his gratitude after such a great miracle was performed. One out of ten is indeed a low percentage. The Bible commands us to give thanks to God in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Jesus showed us this example in his life on earth. Before he raised Lazarus from the dead, he gave God thanks (John 11:41). The average person will not give God thanks in front of the tomb of a loved one who just passed away, however, Jesus maintained a grateful heart to God in all situations.
Jesus was not only grateful to God; he was grateful to people also. As a way of rewarding people, who stayed loyal to him or served him on his stay on earth, he conferred on them the kingdom God had given to him (Luke 22:28-30). By doing this, Jesus showed us that we must show gratitude to people who have been of help to us by rewarding them in any way we can.
The Bible shows us that ingratitude is one of the signs of the end time (2 Timothy 3:2). Ingratitude is an ungodly attitude. We must learn to show gratitude to God and the people God has used to help us in the past or present. Don’t forget about people that have been of help to you in the past because you are now in another phase of your life. Reach out to them and let them know you appreciate them.
Don’t just be grateful in your heart, express your gratitude. Learn to say “thank you” as often as possible. The Bible tells us that the one leper who thanked Jesus was very expressive about it. He cried out in a loud voice (Luke 17:15). Don’t just assume that people who have done well to you know that you are grateful. Tell them over and over again.
In this world of ingratitude, be the one out of ten who is grateful.
Gratitude Requires Humility
Many times, we are so humble and meek when we are in need. We can go to any length to plead with people to help us especially when we are in dire need. It is only natural for humans to be humble when they are in the presence of someone who can grant their greatest desire. Before a person helps us, we are quick to make all the promises in the world just to convince them to help us. How quickly do we forget those things after the person has helped us? Human beings are like this naturally, once we get what we want, our pride and ego rise again.
To remain a grateful person, you must stay humble. Don’t be the one who will forget the person who helped you climb up the ladder of success while you enjoy all the glory and glamour that comes with fame. The nine ungrateful lepers were quick to forget Jesus after they received the miracle. They were instantly blinded by the glamour of being the latest news in town. Before the miracle happened, they were crying desperately for Jesus to help them. After the miracle, they couldn’t even remember Jesus again. How ungrateful!
When you get what you are seeking, always make it a point of duty to go back to say thank you to all those who helped you through the process (whether God or man). The one grateful leper could come back because he kept a humble heart. He remembered that the miracle he got was not by his power or making therefore, he went back to show gratitude to the one who made it possible.
What do we have that we were not given? We cannot receive the slightest thing except God grants it to us (John 3:27). The strength and health we have to pursue our dreams and goals are supplied to us by God. Therefore, why should we fail to give Him thanks?
Is there a man that can succeed in life without the help of other people? Is there a man that can execute a big project alone? Why then do we fail to give thanks to people who have helped us?
When we remember how little we can achieve alone, we will become more grateful.
King James Version (KJV)
“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”
New International Version (NIV)
“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’
When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.
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—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, “’Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.'”
New American Bible (NASB)
“While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, ten men with leprosy who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. But Jesus responded and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.'”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ When he saw them he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And he said to him, ‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.'”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“As they continued onward toward Jerusalem, they reached the border between Galilee and Samaria, and as they entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, sir, have mercy on us!’
He looked at them and said, ‘Go to the Jewish priest and show him that you are healed!’ And as they were going, their leprosy disappeared.
One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Glory to God, I’m healed!’ He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan.
Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?’
And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.'”