Joy and Thanksgiving – Miracles of Christ and Gratitude

Today, we’re reading an actual story from the scriptures! That’s right – this isn’t some kind of list, allegory, or other literary element, but it is the story.

Today’s story is the story of Christ healing the ten lepers.

“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” – Luke 17:11-13

I am struck by the fact that the lepers could recognize the Savior from afar off. Yet there were so many who would interact with the Savior and not recognize His divinity.

I wonder, do I recognize him from “afar off” or am I blind to Him even with so much Spiritual interaction?

Even though this story doesn’t bring up gratitude yet, recognizing the Savior from “afar off” can be accomplished through humility and gratitude. When I really think about it, I can see the Savior in everything…especially if I’m taking the time to be grateful.

I can see the Savior "afar off" when I look at the world around me.

I can see the Savior "afar off" when I recognize the family and blessings I have around me.

The Savior doesn't seem "afar off" when I really think about it.

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.” – Luke 17:14

I find this response made by the Savior to the Lepers really interesting. He doesn’t really go up to them. He doesn’t heal them by touching them. Instead, he tells them to go to the priests. On the way, they are healed.

Imagine being one of the lepers in this situation. I wonder what kind of miracle they were expecting. If they could recognize the Savior, maybe they had heard about the miracles he had performed. Were they expecting more than instructions to go elsewhere?

I’m not sure what they were expecting, but when I think about this idea, I think of how, when I’ve seen the Lord from “afar off”, and asked for a blessing, often, I kind of have in my mind how I want the miracle to happen. Sometimes, I even question the instructions I receive from the Lord, or the way that He chooses to bring about my blessing.

Here, we see that the Savior chose to bless them “from afar” off – as they went to the priests.

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” – Luke 17:15-16

This is the most famous part of the whole story – only one of the Lepers turns back to thank the Savior for the miracle that just occurred.

We always assume that he was the only one grateful.

It is a little more than that, though. I think that the point is – he was the only one to express His gratitude and recognize that it was the Savior who healed him.

Maybe the others were “grateful” internally. I’m sure that the others rejoiced. Who knows, maybe they said some great things about Jesus to their friends and others. It is easy to imagine that this would be so – lepers were outcasts, and people weren’t healed from leprosy on a regular basis. There would undoubtably be some kind of celebration made by the other lepers. But – the thing is – they never took the time to celebrate with the Savior. They didn’t stop, turn around, thank him, and fall down at his feet – overcome with humility and thanks.

I have to admit that I often let the blessings I receive from the Lord go without recognition of my gratitude. I am grateful for the blessings I have; I want them. They make my life better. But I get self-centered and forget to fall at His feet, weeping with thanks.

“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” – Luke 17:17-19

Finally, the Savior’s response – “Were there not ten cleansed?”…Man, I feel so sorry at this point. How is it that we forget so quickly the power and mercy of the Savior?

This response teaches us of the spiritual implications of gratitude. Having gratitude is more than just saying “Thanks.” Here, we see that we need to give glory to God. Gratitude is an act of humility and faith. It is a form of worship.

Because of this gratitude – this spiritual conviction, the Savior healed the Leper not only physically, but made him spiritually whole. This is the kind of gratitude I need to cultivate.

What are your thoughts?
For tomorrow’s assignment, click here.

Leave a comment


  1. I love the thought you’ve put into the phrase “afar off,” that the lepers recognized Christ from afar off and asked to be healed. The question of whether we can recognize Christ in our lives from afar off is a great one.

    Continuing on with that, I love that when the 10th leper was healed, he didn’t just express thanks from afar off, he fell down on his face at Jesus’s feet to give thanks. He knew the barrier of disease had been removed and he could come closer. Also, gratitude impelled him closer to Christ.

    • Yes! When the leper gave thanks, Christ was no longer “afar off.” – as you mentioned. It makes me realize that this is a pattern for us. We come closer to Christ as we express gratitude and glory in him.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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