Luke 17:11-19, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks”
In January 2009, a miracle was witnessed in New York where an airbus flight 1549 carrying 155 passengers crashed into Hudson river with the plane remaining intact. All the passengers lived making it one of the greatest miracles I have witnessed reported on media. I believe some people on board realized something was wrong with the plane and regardless of their beliefs took an opportunity to cry out to God for mercy. This reminded me of Luke 17 where Jesus was on a journey to Jerusalem. His journey required Him to pass through Samaria and Galilee and vs. says, “12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”. The timing strikes me, there had to be more than ten lepers in that city, these ten happen to be present at the time Jesus was passing by, It was their day of miracle. In their present situation, they lifted up their voices and pleaded for mercy. What did Jesus do, immediately, vs. 14, “…He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed”. It was like saying, I have heard your cry, I have provided a way, go and testify to the priest what happened. The plane that landed on the Hudson River, God had already prepared away regardless of what it was. This kind of plane may have never been designed to land on water; only God could make it work. Who do we thank?
What amazes me about the lepers story is not so much the miracle but the action right after, the bible says, Luke 17:15, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks”. This verse indicates that out of the ten who were immediately healed, one turned around before even reaching the priest, came back and with a LOUD VOICE GLORIFIED GOD, fell down on his face at His feet, GIVING HIM THANKS”. What a heart of gratitude. He understood nothing just happens, he knew he did not deserve the healing he received, there were more lepers who missed that opportunity. What made him better than the rest? nothing and he knew that. He came back with sacrifices of praise. It could have been worse but God! Watching people being interviewed after the crash, I was a little disappointed because few came back to praise God for the miracle yet many sought for His help. And if not all on board prayed, someone in that plane prayed that they would ALL make it. Much was said of what happened; little was said about God in the matter. It would have been easy to blame God if something really went wrong and lives were lost, but what about now? Maybe there are some thanking God who never made it on TV but they, like the one leper came back to give thanks. Despite the people God used to make all go well, who is the Hero in the picture? I woke up that morning thanking God for the miracle, lives He spared. Unsaved people were on board who would have passed into eternity without Christ, children were on board, it would have been worse. He proved to us again that He is God and nothing is too difficult for Him. That He is the God of 11:59, when you think it’s over, He does something breath taking. Who do we thank?
Jesus paints to us a picture of how we can be ungrateful sometimes, He says, “17 “… “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” The other 9 took the miracle and moved on with their lives. Could it be possible that when Jesus said to all the ten to go and show themselves, He wanted to see if they would see a need to give thanks when they got healed? Only God knows. The rest went to live their lives as though nothing happened, maybe they thought they deserved the healing, one man new better, he deserved nothing but received something. As Ravi Zacharias says, “while the kids thank Santa for putting candy in their socks, who do I thank for putting two feet in mine?”.
I am a firm believer that nothing just happens, there is always a reason. If I was to trace back my life and family from the age I can remember, I can completely see the hand of God in every stage. Even before I became a Christian, I knew the workings of the Lord. The Lord was gracious many times to hear my cry. Not too long ago while praying on Saturday morning, I began to recall how some of my family members escaped near death experiences and sickness that could not be detected by the doctors. Two of my brothers survived hot water burns at different times when they were young, one of my brothers who survived water burn almost drowned in his teenage years in a dam and recently survived ladder fall, my dad survived a street attack and stomach ulcers, I did too escape street attack and almost drowned twice, my mom, dad and brother got healed of diseases that could not be detected, another survived a fall and just this week, my brother Andrew survived a fall that nearly took his life, but God. Who do I thank for all these miracles? How about you, if you were to sit and begin to recall more detailed account of your life and family and how you’ve made it this far, who would you thank for making it this far? Have you thanked God for yesterday’s miracles? Oh it’s so good to give thanks unto the Lord. Blessings Ev