Giving thanks is a large part of expressing our love to God.
Luke 17:11 – Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. (Verse 12) Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
(Verse 13) And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Verse 14) So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go show yourselves to the priest.” And so it was as they went, they were cleansed. (Verse 15) Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
(Verse 16) and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. (Verse 17) So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? (Verse 18) “Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (It appears the nine were Jews and only one Samaritan, which the Jews hated.) And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Made well or made whole – Greek word – Sozo. So what caused this one man to return and express his love and gratitude?
Gratitude produces worship.
This man, with a loud voice, glorified God. Something happened in this man’s heart to cause him to fall down at Jesus’ feet and worship Him. Because he had gratitude in his heart he had to worship. Gratitude will produce worship.
Was this appropriate for this man to fall down at Jesus’ feet? Yes, but is it Scriptural? Does Scripture condone “shouting?” Is it Scriptual to fall down on one’s face?
In the Hebrew, there are ten words meaning praise, but seven are dominant in the Old Testament: (1) Todah: A thanksgiving choir. (2) Barak: To kneel in thanksgiving. (3) Tehillah: To sing a song of thanksgiving. (4) Halah: To give thanks by being clamorously foolish. (5) Yadah: To give thanks with extended hands. (6) Zamar: To give thanks with a musical instrument. (7) Shabach: To give thanks in a loud voice.
So yes, according to the Hebrew translation: praise is to shout; raise or extend hands, to kneel; to sing to the Lord in worship. Psalm 100:4 has four of these Hebrew words out of these seven.
Psalm 100:4 – Enter into His gates with thanksgiving (Todah – a thanksgiving choir), and into His courts with praise (Tehillah – singing praises). Be thankful (Yadah – extend your hands) to Him, and bless (Barak – bow before) His name.
Paraphrased – Enter into HIs gates with a thanksgiving choir, and into His courts with singing praises. Be thankful by extending your hands to Him, and bless Him by bowing before His name.
Everyone doesn’t express or worship the same way. But one of the main reasons that some people don’t express their love to God in worship is because many people grew up in a “dysfunctional family.” Many people grew up in a family that did not express love for each other. Some never heard their mother or father say, “I love you.” Or some will say that they were never hugged.
However, once you become a believer, you have a new family! You have been adopted into the family of God. You are not in a dysfunctional family anymore! Our Father is not dysfunctional. So don’t use that as an excuse not to express your love for the Father. He is worthy and deserving of all our praise! Everyone will not be the same in their expression of love and worship, but at some gesture, they have to express how they feel about God. So, what will produce gratitude?
Miracles produce gratitude.
Luke 17:15 – And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God.
Leprosy is a disease that many thought for years, caused the flesh to rot away. But they discovered in the 1950s that leprosy causes the nerve endings to deaden and they can’t feel pain. So what was actually happening, people would harm themselves and their flesh would get a sore and they didn’t know it because they couldn’t feel it. They also found that these open wounds that people had, at night when they slept, rats came in and would eat the flesh, but they couldn’t feel it. In Jesus’ day, there was no cure.
If you were a leper in Jesus’ day, no one would hire you because it was contagious and couldn’t be around other people. They had to keep a certain distance from every person. They were complete outcasts. If someone came close to them, they had to shout out “Leper!,” “Unclean!”
Can you imagine having to shout “Unclean” when someone approached you? But the same way this man was healed, we received healing from our past through faith in Jesus Christ. So if you had leprosy in Jesus’ day, and received healing, would you express your gratitude and love to the One who healed you?
As believers, we all have a reason to express our love and gratitude to the Lord! If just half the people that stand around us during worship knew what Jesus delivered us from, we would never care what any of them thought when we raise our hands or bow down in worship of our Deliverer!
Is it still appropriate ten, twenty, or even thirty years later after Jesus cleans us up to fall down and worship the King? Yes, because we owe those past years for deliverance to the One who restored what the enemy had stolen.
So my next question is if gratitude produces worship and miracles produce gratitude, what produces miracles?
Obedience produces miracles.
Luke 17:14 – So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
They could have stood there and argued that they were not to show themselves to the priest until they were healed, but instead, they started walking and were healed. This is all through the Bible. Look at Moses at the Red Sea. God told him to lift up his arms, and he did, and the sea parted. Look at what took place when Josuha gets right up to the promised land and the Jordan is at flood stage. The Lord told him to put his foot in the water and God parted the water for them to cross. The instructions that God gives is not always the same. When God speaks, we oby, when we obey there is a miracle, and when there’s a miracle we are grateful and when we are grateful, then we worship.
Keep in mind: When you see a passage in the Bible and want to understand it, read the passage before it and after it. So look at the passages before Luke 17:14 and look how they tie into the one we just read:
Luke 17:1 – Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! (Verse 2) “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. (Jesus is first talking to the “offender,” but then he speaks to the “offended.”)
(Verse 3) “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him: and if he repents, forgive him. (Verse 4) “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
(Verse 5) And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
This is what Jesus was saying to them: “You are going to get offended, everyone does, but when you do get offended, I want you to forgive them if he repents. Then if the same person does the same offense on the same day seven times, I still want you to forgive them, but He says “If they repent!”
My question is; Why when pastors preach on forgiveness of offenses they don’t say what Jesus really said which is “Rebuke them and if they repent, forgive them?” The disciples thought this might be impossible for them to do, like us, so they told Jesus to “increase” their faith. But Jesus said to them:
(Verse 6) So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Verse 7) “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? (Verse 8) “But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
(Verse 9) “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. (Verse 10) “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ “
I will be honest, I never understood exactly what Jesus was saying until I had it explained to me by a wonderful man of God.
Jesus is talking about obedience. It’s not about how much faith a person has. He gives the illustration of the faith as small as a mustard seed. And the servant obeys because it’s his duty to obey what is commanded of him. Putting it bluntly: You don’t need more faith to forgive, you need to do what you’re told to do – obey His commandments. Let’s not forget that Jesus is our Master, He’s our Lord and we need to obey Him.
Now back to the lepers – They holler at Jesus, “Have mercy on us!” Now He’s going to show the disciples what happens when they obey. And as the lepers went, they were healed and the disciples saw that because they obeyed, they were healed.
Too many think too often about the offenses done to them and keep unforgiveness in their hearts. And when they need a miracle from the Lord, they won’t be obedient because of what someone else did to them. Well, guess what? That unforgiveness in a person’s heart just might be the thing that is stopping them from seeing their miracle and if no miracle takes place then they are not grateful for what He has done, and if they are not grateful, then they won’t worship!
Things don’t always turn out the way we think they should, but if we will simply obey, they’ll be a lot better than if we don’t.
Are things so common and available nowadays that we just aren’t as thankful as we were before we had anything? I don’t even take my food for granted. Everything I have is because the Lord gave it to me.
Gratitude will cause us to worship and obedience will bring a miracle!!