The Nine, V
Luke 17:15-16 “One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.” (MSG)
Today, we will pick up from our final thought from yesterday which is, what God did for you, He did for you personally, and not do for someone else. Jesus died on the cross of calvary for you, for me. It is just like having four children and three of them are responsive to you, they care about you, and they take care of you as you grow older. But one of them is indifferent and claims that his dad or his mum has three other children taking care of him or her. Why should I bother? Just like the seventh one said Jesus gets enough gratitude as it is so he did not see any reason why he should go back to give glory to God. How would you feel? You probably would feel bad. God deserves our worship.
We do this to our teachers, to our doctors, to policemen – these people risk their lives for us, and of course, to Pastors. Luke 17:17-18 “Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” God expects you and me to be that one that will come back and show gratitude to Him. Why? The truth is, Jesus can never have enough gratitude for what He did on the cross of Calvary, He cannot. If you serve God from now till eternity it would not be too much for all Jesus has done for you. Think about it, can we really repay Him? We cannot.
Nine, the one who perhaps said, first let me show myself to the priest. The last one cared more about what people would say than what Jesus would say. The craving for human acceptance; he craved for the acceptance of society more than his craving for the acceptance of God. And this is a big deal for the Jew. The nine Jesus was looking for were Jews. For a Jew, even after being healed of leprosy, you need to be certified by the priest before society can accept you. so, going back to Jesus means delaying your certification. The nine wanted societal acceptance as fast as possible and did not bother to go back to give glory to God. If you read Leviticus 14, you will see the whole process of the certification for lepers.
How does this apply to us? If you find out that what people would say matters more to you than pleasing God, you need to get out of that place very quickly. Why? It is because you are keeping yourself from God’s best. Every time our craving for men’s approval overshadows our craving for Jesus, we miss out on God’s best for us. 1Cor.4:3-4 “As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority… It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.” The approval of the Jewish community meant nothing to the Samaritan because he was already an outcast. But it was a big deal for the nine because they wanted to be accepted back into society. However, Jesus still did not excuse them.
Prayer [song]: King of endless worth, no one could express how much You deserve. Though I’m weak and poor, all I have is Yours every single breath… Amen!