Thinking about some questions Jesus asked . . . to change my thinking. How about His question in Luke 17:18: Was no one found to return and give thanks to God except this foreigner?
Jesus was walking to Jerusalem to die. One the way, 10 lepers stood at a distance outside a village and called out for His mercy. Jesus responded to them, even though He must have been wrestling with the thought of the cross of Jerusalem. But He wasn’t too troubled to help them. Jesus’ response to the lepers—Go and show yourselves to the priests—was in keeping with the instructions of Leviticus 14:1-32. On their way to the priest, all 10 were healed. But only the lowly and foreign Samaritan turned back to thank Jesus. How sad is that. How sad it is when I fail to thank Jesus for obvious works of grace and mercy.
But how right it is when I remember to thank Him. Jesus was bothered by the hard hearted nine who didn’t return to thank Him. And He warmly responded to the one who did thank Him. Seems odd to think of the manly Jesus as so sensitive that He could be hurt by the thanklessness of men. Of course, that’s part of what makes Jesus so endearing.
Things to do with the question Jesus asked:
- Be quick to ask . . . be quick to thank.
- Thank Him for the common things of life . . . eyes that see, ears that hear, feet that walk, fingers that type, and so on and so on and so on.
- Don’t wait to lose the thing before thanking Him for it. I hurt my back a few weeks ago, just a minor twinge. But I realized how much I couldn’t do because my back hurt. The first time I ever thanked Jesus for my back was when it wasn’t working right. And I made certain to thank Him again when it felt better.
- Rejoice and be thankful in suffering. Two reasons:
1. Because the life of Jesus is made obvious to others when we endure trials well. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11. Afflicted, not crushed. Perplexed, not despairing. Persecuted, not forsaken. Struck down, not destroyed.
2. Because trials produce deep devotion and excellent character. James 1:2-4.
I have a friend who, when I ask him how’s he’s doing, almost always answers, Better than I deserve. He has it right. The lepers didn’t deserve healing, but Jesus healed them. Jesus didn’t deserve the cross, but He went anyway. I don’t deserve eyes that see or feet that walk or a million other benefits the Lord gives. But He gives them anyway. At least I should give Him a simple Thank You. Maybe also commit to letting Him build in me a thankful spirit. Acts 14:16-17.