Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Have you ever helped someone who showed no appreciation? That’s probably where the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished” comes from, or, at least is derived from. When that happened to you, you were of course disappointed. Jesus had a similar experience. Ten men were miraculously healed. But only one returned to give thanks. Jesus question reveals His disappointment – what happened to the nine?

1. This question points to the common failure to give thanks.
A. The nine who did not return to give thanks had faith enough to ask but not to thank.
1. They looked to Jesus for help. “…they called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (Vs.13)
2. They obeyed Jesus’ word without question. When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.” (Vs.14)
3. They were glad to be healed but felt little gratitude to the healer.
B. Are we inclined to ask more often than to thank?
1. When we were delivered from a calamity we perhaps cried out, “Thank God!” but did we continue to live each day in conscious gratitude to God for fulfilling His gracious purpose in our lives?
2. If things have gone well for us, have we remembered to thank God for those pleasant and successful days?
3. If things have gone badly for us, have we been able to thank God for the good that can come to us even through trials?

Where are the nine? What happened to them? Then and now this question points to the common failure to give thanks. We so easily begin to take God’s’ blessings for granted. In our lives there is more petitioning than praising.

2. This question reminds us that there is reason to give thanks.
A. Jesus healed all 10 from an incurable disease. (Vs.14)
1. The Samaritan understood better than the others the meaning of the healing.
2. He looked beyond the healing to the healer (Vv. 15-16)
3. He grasped the greatness of Jesus (V.19)
B. Jesus has not healed us from leprosy, but for all of us He has done something greater.
1. As the Christ of God He died for us to deliver us from Satan, sin, and hell and then rose form the dead to prove His deliverance.
2. He creates and sustains our faith in Him by means of the Word and Sacraments.
C. Jesus gives us man other things that we request, as well as things for which we may not be asking.
1. He gives us health or strength to endure illness.
2. He gives us worldly possessions, if we have little in the way of worldly goods we must nevertheless acknowledge that He supplies our daily needs.
3. He gives us a family in which we give and receive love, friends who support us, and work that fulfills us.
4. He has given us a country in which we enjoy political freedom and also the freedom to worship Him in the way our conscience directs.

Where are the nine? What happened to them? This question reminds us that there is reason to give thanks. What we are and have as redeemed people and as citizens of this country we owe to God. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

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