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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11/25/10 Luke 17:11-19 Jesus and Thanksgiving

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.”

(Norman Rockwell- "Freedom from Want")

Thoughts:  Jesus made a regular practice of giving "thanks" for his meals (Mt. 14:19; 15:36; 26:26 and 7 parallel passages).  Here is a passage where Jesus calls us to be thankful for what God does for us.  All ten went to show themselves to the priests as Jesus asked them too.  Jesus did not ask them to come back and say "thank you."  But gratitude is a sign of our true cleansing from self-centeredness.  In this passage we are all called to give thanks to God as Jesus is clearly disappointed that only 10% of those to whom a miracle had occurred would remember to give thanks.   Yesterday the American president pardoned a turkey- meaning the turkey did not get killed but would live its life out in peace on Mt. Vernon.  The turkey has no idea how much the president did for him yesterday.  We may not realize how much God does for us. That is why it is important to stop and cont our blessings and give thanks. 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for who you are.  All that we have is a gift from you.  Thank you for your faithfulness, and the faith you have given.  For family, friends, and freedom we give you thanks. 

John Calvin abridged: There is displayed here the divine power of Christ and the ingratitude of the religious people of his day.  That they would go on Christ's command alone to the judges of uncleanness shows some measure of faith.  We should be afraid of the temporary nature of the faith of some.  For they seek God until they get their wish, and then turn from Him in ingratitude.  Thus poverty and hunger beget faith, but abundance kills it. The cure itself is debased by their ingratitude.  Faith alone sanctifies the gifts of God to us so that they become pure.  The Samaritan was saved by faith- not because he was cured of leprosy (the other nine were cured physically too- but not spiritually).  But the Samaritan was admitted into the family of God by faith.

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