Giving Thanks: A Healed Man and a Whole Man
Luke 17:11–19 is the story of ten lepers who lived in a remote village between Jerusalem and Galilee. In those times leprosy was a dreaded disease (see Leviticus 13 and 14 for an explanation of the horrific plight of those who had leprosy). People were exiled, they lived alone, they were cut off from the Temple and society. When they went anywhere, they had to announce that they were “unclean.” They lived lonely, miserable and painful lives.
In Luke 17 these ten men are seeking healing and they had some similarities:
They all were afflicted by leprosy
They all were determined to do something about it
They all heard about Jesus, and believed that He might heal them
They all appeal to Jesus and acknowledge Him as Master
They all, in obedience, proceed on their way to the priests
They all are healed.
That’s where the similarities stop. While all of them are healed, only one was made whole—the one who came back and gave thanks to Jesus for healing.
Friends, as we celebrate Thanksgiving let’s not forget that there is a difference between being healed and being made whole.
A Healed Man:
Lifts his voice for healing, but not for hallelujah. Nine healed men lifted their voices for healing but they never came back to give thanks, to worship or to glorify God for being healed. A healed man may be a thankless man.
Follows the letter of the Law but will not fall on his face at the feet of his Lord. The nine healed men did what the Lord and the Law instructed them to do—they went to the priests—but that was it. A healed man may be a legalistic, cold-hearted man.
Worries about the future, but will not worship in the present. Can’t you just hear the nine, worrying about what they were going to do now that they were healed? Where will they live? How will they make money? A healed man may be a doubtful man. They have faith for healing, but not for wholeness.
A Whole Man:
His hallelujah for the healing he received is louder than his holler for healing. The one man glorifies God for his healing. A whole man is visibly a thankful man.
Falls on his face at the feet of his Lord instead of merely following the letter of the Law. The one man returns, glorifies and falls on his face in thanksgiving to Jesus. A whole man is a man who passionately goes beyond the mandated requirements (the Law).
Worships in the present and doesn’t worry about the future. He has his priorities straight—worship over worry. A whole man is a man of faith.
Friends, let’s be whole, not merely healed. Let’s truly worship God and give him thanks for all He has done for us yesterday, what He is doing for us today, and the glory of Heaven we’ll see tomorrow. Let’s lift our hearts and our hands to the One who loves us unconditionally. Let’s always be a church that comes back to give Jesus thanks, glory and praise.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.