November 21, 2017

A Word for Thanksgiving

Doug Wright

Luke 17:11-19 tells the story of ten men which were lepers – outcasts from society. They had a disease which not only signaled their physical demise, but it made them social outcasts. The problem was that they could do nothing to change their lot in life. Their leprosy was a condition that they did not choose, and they could not alter. Beyond their own inability to change their physical condition, no one else could help them. At the time no medicine was known, and no cure was in sight.

Their condition pictures the sin that dooms man and makes him an outcast before God. Man cannot dwell in God’s presence in his sinful condition. In fact, the Bible tells us that man will pay for his sin for all eternity in a place “prepared for the devil and his angels.” That place is called hell. You should never tire of the joy that comes from knowing you are “saved” from that penalty. That is what the Scripture refers to when it talks about “salvation.” You have been saved from eternal punishment.

The Leper’s condition was changed because they encountered the one man that could help them. Jesus met the ten men and responded to their cry for mercy. As they obeyed (by faith) Jesus’ command to follow the Old Testament instructions to allow the priest to view their skin blemish, they were healed. This whole incident is a wonderful picture of what a believer has experienced.

The remainder of the passage is the catalyst for pointing out this miracle at this time of year. Notice the post-healing event Luke records.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

What a sad commentary on humanity! What a sad commentary on Christianity. Many people have been spared an eternal curse, but rarely acknowledge the “healer.”

I am thankful that in our country we have a special day of thanksgiving. Believers ought to dwell in a perpetual state of thanks, but this is a great reminder. Without outside intervention you were doomed to an eternity apart from God in a place called hell. Let’s make sure that we do not take our salvation for granted. Like David in Psalm 150 let’s “Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.”

Doug Wright is pastor of Keystone Baptist Church, Berryville, VA.

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