What would you think if you gave gifts to 10 children at a party, and only 1 of them thanked you? Well, Jesus healed 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19, but only one returned to thank him (and that one was not even a follower of the Jewish law!) In this story, Jesus said, ”Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”. I sense Jesus’ disappointment that so few were grateful for what He did. The last thing I want to do is disappoint Jesus, who I love so much. Am I grateful to God for what He has done for me? Do I express my gratitude?
Do We Have Grateful Hearts?
In three of the scriptures referenced for this post, Jesus healed someone of leprosy, then told them to keep quiet about the healing, go to the local priest, and offer a gift to God as testimony (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14). In sacrificial law, the gift was testimony as proof of the cleansing or healing. Would the gift offering also be a token of praise and gratitude to God for the healing? How could one go to the local temple and offer this gift with anything but a heart overflowing with gratefulness to God?
Let’s check our own hearts and compile a list of everything to be grateful to God for. A good start might be all that He has:
- Withheld (for our own good!)
- Delivered from
- Shielded, protected from
- Blessed with (both here and in the heavenly realms!
You’ve heard the saying, “A grateful heart is a happy heart”. Are we often unhappy because we are ungrateful?
Jesus’ Example of a Grateful Heart
For this project, we are focusing on exactly what Jesus said. However, I’ll make an exception here and also include something Jesus did that was recorded in all four gospels: Jesus “gave thanks” (Matthew 14:19, Matthew 15:36, Mark 6:41, Mark 8:6, Luke 9:16, John 6:11). This occurred in the story of Jesus multiplying a few loaves of bread and fish in order to feed thousands of people. In each instance, the gospel writer noted how Jesus gave thanks to the Father before He performed the miracle. Some of these scriptures give more detail, like how Jesus looked up to heaven as He gave thanks.
I doubt this was a casual, cursory thanks to the Father. The fact that each gospel records the act of giving thanks underscores its significance and importance.
Call to Action
Go back to the list we started above in “Do We Have Grateful Hearts?”. For each item listed, write down at least three things you are grateful for that fall into that category. As an example, for the “Revealed” category, I am grateful that God revealed to me:
- A new spiritual insight regarding the mystery of Christ in me, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
- His plan for my salvation through Jesus, making it so clear in His Word
- What He wanted me to write in this blog post