Date: Friday, April 11
Scripture: Luke 17:11-19
Verse: Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. (Luke 17:15)
It is so easy to take God for granted. For example, one who receives assistance with food from Tri-Lakes Cares may be quick to thank the people working there, but never recognize the hand of God in it. Or another who is ill might be ready to thank the doctors and medicine, but all of that ability is a gift from God. Or simply in our day-to-day living, we might forget to give God the thanks he deserves for our abilities to make money and live the lives with which we have so richly been blessed. Behind all we are, and all we do, is the grace of God.
One of the themes we have been highlighting for the past couple of days, is the way Luke when presenting Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:28) emphasizes how so many people missed out on what was happening right in their midst. Often, we find the “wrong” people recognizing the presence of God in the world, and especially in Jesus. Today’s scripture is no different. Ten lepers are cleansed, healed from their disease and allowed back into society from quarantine. Yet only one returns to give thanks to Jesus, and he happens to be a Samaritan, a foreigner. In the eyes of Luke’s first readers, this is the “wrong” person. John Wesley gave us a name for God’s work in all of us when we are the wrong people. He called it prevenient grace — the grace of which we are recipients even before we acknowledge God. The outsider recognized God at work, and returned to give thanks.
I wonder why the other 9 did not. Maybe they thought they deserved to be healed since they were part of God’s chosen people. Maybe they thought it wasn’t Jesus who did this, but something inside of them which brought the healing. Maybe they were so focused on themselves and what they had received that they never even thought about the one through whom it was given. I speculate those things, because I have been in all of those places. So caught up in my story, I forget it is what it is because it is part of God’s story.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the many blessings in my life — those I recognize and those I sometimes miss. Amen.
Action: Spend the day ahead giving thanks to Jesus for all you have received.
Respond: Are there times you may have missed God at work in your life? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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