Luke 17 v 15 “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.”
It is interesting to note that this parable highlights the role gratitude should play in regard to our relationship with God. This blind man was healed because of the grace and mercy of Christ. He did not deserve healing in any unique sense but he certainly needed it.
Think of what it must have been like for these 10 men, living in those days with this dreaded disease. Of course they did not have the medical tools of today to either diagnose or cure. So all skin blemishes, rashes, disfigurements were labelled as leprosy to be sure. People who suffered in this way then had to be separated from family and friends in case what they had was contagious. If it was not a serious problem, as soon as it cleared up, they could go to the priest to be examined and all being well they could re-join society. But if it was indeed leprosy the future was bleak indeed. There was no cure to be had and they certainly had no power to cure themselves. They would then live lonely, isolated lives, forbidden to be in touch with normal society. They had to cry out “leper, leper!” as they walked along so people could give them a wide birth. They lived on hand-outs given to them by family, friends, or good willed people. The disease would continue its progress of disfigurement until the poor victim finally died.
Thus the intervention in the lives of these poor men was an intervention of Grace – underserved by all of them.
But what do you think the response should be to such an intervention of Grace? Obviously it would be one of deep gratitude and thankfulness. The person who responded in this way, shows that he sees the healing event as more than “this was my lucky day!!” And the man who returned to say “thank you” was such a man. He realised he was the recipient of something supernatural. The only way he could acknowledge it, was to say “thank you”. He received not only healing but salvation as well.
Gratitude is the sign that a man or woman’s eyes have been opened spiritually. When they realise the dangerous situation they are in as sinners facing a judgement to come, and then see what Christ has done for them, they run to embrace Christ and the rest of their lives are lived in gratitude to God.
In Romans 1 v 21 Paul tells us how a rebellious and sinful world, even though given evidence of the greatness of God, nevertheless reject him. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their foolish hearts were darkened.”
The unconverted person feels no special debt of thanks to God at all, but the Christian person lives a lifestyle that can be summed up in this word Gratitude! Or as the Samaritan said, when he bowed before Jesus who had healed him, “THANK YOU”.