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Thanksgiving: The Example of an Outsider

“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.”1

Yesterday, we saw how the obedience of the ten lepers led to their healing. Although I am sure all of them were overjoyed as they saw their bodies being restored, today we will see how only one man went back to thank Jesus.

After Jesus sent the men to the priest and all of them were healed, each man went his way, more than likely running home to see their families that they hadn’t seen for a while! However, one man, a Samaritan, was overwhelmed with gratitude and had to give thanks to the One who had made his healing possible. This man saw what the other lepers failed to see: They had been healed, God alone deserved praise for this miracle, and Jesus deserved thanks. He returns to Jesus shouting, ‘Praise God!’ and falls to Jesus’ feet thanking Him for what he had done. Jesus asks, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”2 Out of all ten men, only the “outsider” chose to return and publicly thank God for his healing.

The question that Jesus asked could be asked of us today as well: “Has no one returned to give praise to God? Has no one come to thank Me?” Jesus has given us the unbelievable gift of forgiveness through the blood He shed on the cross for us. We didn’t do anything to earn it, nor could we ever do enough to repay it. Jesus took the punishment we deserved upon himself and gave us eternal life. I think we could all agree that this is the best gift we could ever receive. The problem is that many people will accept this free gift of forgiveness and never do anything to show their thankfulness to God.

In addition to the forgiveness we have received, how many times have we experienced blessings from God? It can be daily things like food, shelter, health, our jobs, transportation, etc., but could also be restored relationships, physical healing, amongst many other things. Take a moment to think of all that God has done for you. Jesus was publicly crucified for us; therefore, we should have hearts that are overflowing with thanksgiving to God, and always be ready to publicly tell God and those around us how thankful we are.

The foreign leper leaves us a great reminder of what thanksgiving looks like. It is humbly coming before God with hearts of praise and lips that verbalize our gratitude to God for His amazing gift, compassion, grace, and mercies that are new every morning.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, I could never repay you for your incomparable gift of forgiveness and eternal life that I have received through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus. I pray that you give me a heart of thanksgiving and that I would be quick to express my gratitude to you for all that you have done in my life. I don’t deserve your endless love, but you give it to me anyway. I kneel before you today and thank you for making me your child. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

  1. Luke 17:15-16 (NIV).

  2. Luke 17:17-18 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.