There’s a story in Luke 17:11-19 (which I’ve shared below in the King James version) that paints a perfect picture of the wholeness that comes with gratitude. It provides a wonderful reminder of why, if we are wise, we will be intentional to stay in a place of gratitude to God for all He’s done.
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. 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. 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. 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.
In biblical times, leprosy was not only horrible because of the vicious physical aspects (which could include losing actual body parts), but also in the sense that as someone who is “unclean,” you were denied general fellowship. For Jesus to heal these lepers was truly life changing for them. It meant not only being alleviated from the pain and sickness involved with the disease, but also being readmitted into general fellowship.
It was right and honorable for the men who had been healed to stop to express gratitude, and yet only one did. No judgment on the others – they may simply have been caught up in the joy of the healing and not even thought to give thanks, but in doing so they miss the additional blessing of being declared whole.
It’s possible this declaration of “wholeness” was meant literally in the sense that though the leprosy had been removed from their bodies, the effects of it may not have been (meaning they may have been missing body parts even though they were no longer ill). It may be that when Jesus declared the grateful one “whole” that a second miracle occurred, and the effects of the illness were removed and his body was literally whole again.
It may simply be that Jesus is declaring a blessing of spiritual and emotional wholeness over him. Or a combination of it all. But what we see is that there was “more” for the one who was grateful. There was a fullness – one that we too should be eager to receive too.
We must realize it isn’t simply enough to see God’s hand moving in our lives. It isn’t even enough when we testify to His goodness and power. He is also deserving of our thanks. We must be intentional to stay in a place of gratitude to Him for all He has done. And in doing so, receive the fullness of being “whole.”
Father, may we be known for our gratitude and may it define our relationship with You. May we never lose sight of all You’ve done and will do on our behalf, and may we consistently give you the thanks, the praise, and the glory. Amen.
Note: the featured image for this post is of a Dyed4you silk called Whole by Faith, which includes this post in the word that goes with it. Below you will also find a video of flags done in the same style.