In church on Sunday, our pastor spoke about Luke 17:11-19. The story of the 10 men with Leprosy which Jesus healed and sent on their way and where only one returned to thank and praise him.
Like our pastor said, usually the moral we take from this story is that we are to be grateful for the work God does in our lives, but there is so much more to this story than just gratefulness.
I think it’s because of my love for photography that I tend to look around and capture the whole scene. When I look at photos, I look at the entire picture. I usually imagine what was happening right before the picture was taken, and what happened afterwards. I now automatically do this when people tell me stories, when I read articles or here peoples’ opinions…my mind automatically goes to “Ok, what was said before? What happened in their life to create this reaction?”. So when I read stories like Luke 17 and the grateful man, I imagine the scene of him walking away with his friends, possibly encouraging them to go back and thank Jesus, the criticism he would have received when none of them wanted to join, the courage it took to go anyways…even after years of being shunned and abused by those not affected by Leprosy.
Jesus, being who he was, more than likely had a crowd around him. Maybe just his followers, but even so, a group of men and women. To approach a crowd by yourself, especially one of a well known miracle worker, would have taken huge courage.
Sometimes, it takes courage to approach God. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that it doesn’t matter what you think you deserve, or what others have told you that you deserve…you just need to go before Him and worship.
And then I think about the after-affects of this act of courage. Jesus had words for this man. Not just words for a group of lepers, but specific words for this specific man. There wasn’t a lot of words, they weren’t particularly special words, but they were words directed to this one man because he had the courage to approach the Great Healer. And maybe they didn’t mean anything to the others surrounding them, but who knows, maybe they were words that hit home with the heart of this sick and emotionally wounded man.
I also believe that intimacy was developed because of this courage. Intimacy between a man and his Healer. I believe that because of the words spoken from Jesus to this man, because of his courageous step to approach him, the lepers’ heart felt bonded to Jesus more than his ungrateful friends. He felt that Jesus cared for him, he felt special, he felt acknowledged.
When we approach God, he acknowledges us. When we have courage in our relationship with God, intimacy is created. When we take a step of faith and possibly go against what others are saying around us, we build a personal relationship with our Savior. When we are grateful, we are healed.