While contemplating the real meaning of Thanksgiving Day, the Lord quicken to my heart a passage found in Luke 17:11-19. It’s the account of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. According to God’s Word, there were ten lepers healed that day, however, only one returned to give thanks to the miracle Man called Jesus. All ten of the lepers had to have been thankful for their restoration, but I questioned in what sense were they actually thankful and how was their thanks expressed. This caused me to examine what real Thanksgiving entails and what truly defines it.
I came to the awareness that there are two different types of thanks-givers in this world and they are diametrically opposed. First, there are the selfish, self-centered, it’s all about me group. They are like the nine lepers that didn’t return to thank Jesus, but continued on their way for priestly approval. In the second group are those who are true thanks-givers, such as the one leper who returned in humility and adoration.
I pondered the difference between the two groups and about each one’s grand finale. The only difference that I could see was the direction of their appreciation and the motive of their thankfulness.
The nine that did not return with accolades for the Healer had praise for no one but themselves. They were self-absorbed and praised themselves for their underserved blessing. They had finalized their “give me that and give me this, on their never ending shopping list.” It’s true, they were cleansed and healed, but healing was all they received. The one returning leper got more than just a physical healing. He received a spiritual healing of eternal proportions.
God’s Word says, “he saw (realized) the gift, turned back (from his own selfish way), glorified God, and fell down at Christ’s feet, giving Him thanks… thy faith hath made thee whole.” Although the one leper was healed of his leprosy, he was not whole until he experienced the salvation of the Savior. Now I know what real Thanksgiving is all about and whom it’s all about—it’s about the salvation from our Savior.
The question I pose to you today is what kind of ‘thanks-giver’ will you be during this Thanksgiving season?