GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
By Keith L. Estes
"And it came to pass, as Jesus 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 show 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.'"
At this time Jesus was on the border between Galilee and Samaria. He was met by this band of ten lepers. We know that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, and yet in this band there was at least one Samaritan. Here is an example of one great law of life. A common misfortune had broken down the racial and the national barriers. In the common tragedy of their leprosy they had forgotten that they were Jews and Samaritans and remembered only that they were men in need. It is said that if a flood surges over a piece of ground, and the wild animals congregate on some little bit of higher ground, you will see standing together animals who are natural enemies and, who, at any other time, would have done their best to kill each other. Surely one of the things, which should draw all men together, is their common need of God.
There is no story in all the gospels, which so poignantly shows man's ingratitude. The lepers had come to Jesus with a desperate longing; He had cured them, and nine never came back to give thanks. So often, once a man has gotten what he wants, he never comes back.
Often children are ungrateful to their parents. There's a time in life when a week's neglect would have killed us. Of all living creatures man requires longest to become able to meet the needs, which are essential for life. There were long years when we were dependent on parents for literally everything. And yet the day comes when an aged parent is a nuisance; and few young people ever think of repaying the debt they owe. As King Lear said in the day of his own tragedy, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is- to have a thankless child!"
So often we are ungrateful to God. In some time of bitter need we pray with desperate intensity; the time passes and we forget God. So many of us never even give to God a grace before meals. He gave us His only Son, and so often we never give to Him even a word of thanks. The best thanks we can give God is to try to deserve His goodness and His mercy a little better, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
"Blow, blow, thou winter wind- Thou art not so unkind- as man's ingratitude.”
Reference: Luke 17: 11-19, Lev. 13: 45,46: Num. 5:2, Psm. 103:2 The Holy Bible, KJV. The Gospel Of Luke- Wm. Barklay, The Westminster Press. Philadelphia, Pa.