Arrogant Gratitude?

Part Three

Passover and Easter Morning


Opening Thought

Sometimes, when I’m not thinking clearly, I think of myself as important. I’m not.

The Story

Yesterday morning, as I was paying for a coffee and bagel, I discovered I only had $2.00 in cash. 


Reaching for my debit card, I remembered that I’d recently lost it. Then I reached for my rarely used credit card, which normally stays at home. It was in my wallet due to the lost debit card. I swiped the card and bingo: DECLINED.

The young lady looked at me with compassion. I’m not sure, but I think she felt sorry for me. She said the $2.00 was enough and told me not to worry about it. I was embarrassed and awkward. I wanted to say, “I’m an important man, believe me, I can afford coffee and a bagel” But I didn’t. I handed her the $2.00 and she gave me the, “It’s okay honey, I understand,” look.

I finished the bagel, called and got the CC glitch fixed, then went up to pay for it. But she wouldn’t accept it. She said, “I like getting to do something nice for someone.” Usually I’m the one doing something nice, you know, since I’m important. 

Now Jesus

On his way to Passover, a group of ten lepers approached him. They called out, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” 

Jesus took pity. He sent them to a priest, so they could be pronounced clean, as they went, they were healed.

One came back, threw himself at Jesus’s feet, and thanked him. He was the only one. “Where are the other nine,” asked Jesus?  

Jesus was important, he was God among us, Isaiah’s Emanuel. The lepers knew he was important too. But not so important that they should take the time to thank him. 

To Think About

I think of him as being greater than anyone or anything in my life. He cleansed the leprosy of my sin, redeemed me and set me free.

Odd though, that in pursuit of being important, I haven’t fallen on my knees to thank him in a long time. I haven’t made the time to express appreciation. How important can he be? 

In Closing

As we approach Sunday and the resurrection celebration, let’s not forget the question Jesus asked, “Where are the other nine?” 


Jesus, Have Pity On Us!

thanksgivingTen lepers are a group of very sick people. From Luke 17, Jesus was entering a village when the ten called to him. They did so from a distance, for they were unclean, and leprosy could do that to a person. Required to keep their distance, they knew better than to approach him, for the clean could not risk becoming defiled. What did they say? “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.”

It’s likely they were separated from family, removed from their villages, and unwelcome at the door of anyone’s home. They couldn’t enter the Synagogue for prayer and Torah reading. They were outcasts and would likely die a lonely, painful death. They were a band of broken brothers, linked by leprosy. “Jesus, have pity on us!” He did. He healed them and his healing was a total fix. He wasn’t just curing illness, but provided a complete restoration of the body. Appendages were brought to life. Noses of rotting flesh were replaced with healthy tissue, their ears and limbs were repaired.  They were as good, or even better, than before they got sick.

I would have quickly found a priest to pronounce me clean, then complete Torah’s requirements, and head for home like a scalded dog. I would rush through the door of my house to hold the children I hadn’t hugged and embrace the wife I hadn’t kissed. All my family and friends would celebrate my good fortune. It would be glorious!

Odd that one of the ten was Samaritan. Only in the company of lepers would a Samaritan be accepted by Jews. Even more odd, is that he went back to tell Jesus thank you, and did so while kneeling at his feet. Before returning home, before his wife and family, he said thank you. “Where are the others,” Jesus asked?

Perhaps they were too busy celebrating to consider such courtesies?

Jesus made me clean. He washed my sins and then he scrubbed the stains. He repaired my soul, restored my life, and brought me back to the Father. I am whole and wholly renewed. But am I thankful? “Jesus, have pity on us.”

It’s fifteen days till Thanksgiving. But please don’t wait to tell Jesus thanks. Any day is a good day to remember our blessings and be grateful, don’t you think?