Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? Luke 17:17-18
I PUT a question mark to the title of this article “Grateful Grumblers?” Because they can never co-exist. Grateful people somehow have and are undergoing a spiritual conversion of the most unique kind. It’s not really about the gifts or the good things that they are enjoying rather it’s becoming a sacred awakening from God making them realize who they are before God. It’s not a humiliating experience rather it’s a humbling one.
“Didn’t I heal 10 men? Where are the other nine?” is a penetrating question that does not induce guilt rather it reveals something we are not prepared to accept. What is that? Gratitude is not our human nature grumbling is. The leper who returned did not instantaneously respond in gratitude; it took some time of seeing something beyond the cleansed skin. “One of them when he saw he was healed...” suggests a time of holy conviction from God that led into a holy conversion, making him return to Jesus and gave thanks!
The other nine got the same healing but they did not see beyond their cleansed skin the One who healed them. Grateful people stand out from the crowd of loud or silent grumblers. They are distinct because they saw the grace that led them to gratitude. Like the leper that returned he made to comment about the other nine. Because gratitude no longer wants to compare, compete, or complain. Grateful people learn the miracle of contentment over the desire of having more. Grumblers are entitled people who believe they deserve more.
In this Covid captivity let us ask God to teach us gratitude. May the Lord open our eyes not only to see the material favors we have but the spiritual favor along with it. Such us contentment, generosity, the authentic courage to express gratitude before God! What Jesus saw in this grateful Samaritan leper is faith! Others got what they wanted and it revealed who they are. This one who gave thanks, saw who he is, and who God is. When this happens, gratitude flows and grumbling stops.
When Jesus asked the question, “Didn’t I heal 10 men? Where are the other nine?”, he did this to emphasize an awakening of Grace that happened to this grateful one. Guilt is never an authentic expression of gratitude, grace is! The question of Jesus gave us a clear mark that grateful people can no longer grumble because they are grateful. Grumbling people can never be grateful though the skin is cleansed, the heart remains greedy. Gratitude is about God and grumbling is about me. Gratitude is about contentment; ungratefulness is about entitlement. Grateful grumblers? Only in religion and politics you will find the cheap mixture but before God the line is clear. It’s simply grateful, not complicated grateful grumblers. Grumbling need not be heard, it can be clearly seen by our reactions, while gratitude can’t be kept, it must be expressed. Lord, find us grateful today. AMEN.