Friday, February 17, 2012

The Other Nine

"Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?" (Luke 17:17).

If ever there is a story of indifference bordering on utter ingratitude, it is here in this story of the ten lepers who besieged and beseeched Jesus to cure them. It must have touched Jesus deeply, for He no doubt saw in this sorry display of thoughtlessness the whole attitude toward His Father and Himself, both then and always. Again, it is the Samaritan--the foreigner--who returns in adoration and overwhelming gratitude. The chosen on whom He also lavished love and grace ran off to continue with everyday life and its distractions, not even looking back. The nine had faith enough to receive health; the one who returned with appreciation was given that extra measure of friendship with God. The others would never realize what they missed.

What excuses have we for our ingratitude? Do we underestimate the cost of His love for us? Do we not realize what it means to our Savior to have us love Him back; to be grateful to Him for the immeasurable blessings He bestows on us every day? "Every good and perfect gift is from above..." (James 1:17). Perhaps we have heard someone say it's useless to thank God for gifts that He so willingly presents; that God's joy is in His generosity. But He does want us to thank Him, not for His sake but for ours. Our gratitude is our recognition of indebtedness to Him who gives all. To acknowledge another's gift is moral strength; to ignore the grace of another is base lack of recognition of the Giver. God hurts when we are indifferent to His love that He gives to all, rich and poor, just and unjust.

Contrast this with Elisha's noble reaction to all that the widow had done for him: "You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you?" (2 Kings 4:13).

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