Breaking the chains that bind: The chain of self-indulgence (Week4)

August 22, 2014

“Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God
except this foreigner?””
– Luke 17:17-18

One of the most common challenges confronting humanity today is the spirit of ingratitude. There seems to be a spirit of we have a right and have earned the privilege to receive what we have and get what we want. Thus, too often we demonstrate the lack of appreciation of the favor or grace received, because we erroneously believe the world owes us something. The Bible calls this spirit, ingratitude and God condemns and rebukes such a spirit. (See Romans 1:11).
Charles Emerson Spurgeon called ingratitude, irreverent, because it dishonors the one who extends the gift. Such was the case in the gospel of Luke with the ten lepers whom Jesus healed, yet only one returned to say thanks. According to Luke’s gospel, the only gospel to record this narrative, Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. The Jews and the Samaritans had no dealing with each other, yet this leper village was made up of Jews and Samaritans. The dreaded disease of leprosy in the first century was thought to be contagious and lepers were colonized in colonies outside of the city. Nevertheless, their disease reduced both Jew and Gentile to their base humanity. So, when these ten men saw Jesus coming, they recognized Jesus and cried out to Him; the Jew and Gentile, with a single and inclusive voice, “have mercy on us.” (Luke 17:13). These lepers discovered what many people and communities never come to acknowledge; we have more in common than we have that separates us. Their cry suggested they had resolved their differences were of no consequence; they were all sick and needed a healing. Perhaps, if we today could only comprehend one lesson from Luke’s narrative about the ten lepers, let it be that we have more in common than we do that separates us. In fact, Luke’s narrative teaches us another invaluable lesson: Our nation, our communities, our neighborhoods are polarized around social systems, but at base we are all in need of the same thing, healing! We all need a Savior, to heal us of what ails us!
When Jesus and His disciples came near the village, the ten leprous men recognized Jesus, they cried out to Jesus and Jesus had compassion on them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests and as they were on their way, they were healed. (Luke 17:14). Once the lepers recognized they had been healed of leprosy, only one returned to give thanks to Jesus for the healing.
Beloved, this writer will conclude this series next week, but this narrative shows us that even Jesus the Christ expects us to be grateful enough to take the time to thank God for His grace and mercy. But before you come down too heavy on the nine who did not return, take a few moments and reflect on the blessings God has provided to you. Have you been thankful or have you at times demonstrated gross ingratitude for the kindness God has shown to you? The bottom line is if you want to maintain a growing, vibrant relationship with Jesus the Christ, you must cultivate a spirit of gratitude and a continued atmosphere of worship and thanksgiving for all the blessings that have flowed from God to you.

Next Week: Conclusion

The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.