Not many of our younger folk have Christian “old fellas” involved in their lives anymore — old guys who have failed God, received his bottomless mercy, and scraped themselves off the dirt and kept going; old guys like me who have confronted the great “why Lord?” flying at us like mortar rounds.
Jesus is not put off by the rank, leprous appearance of our sin and doubts. He can handle it. God answers the cry of the unlovely, unlovable, and the untouchable. He never judges us by the standards of the world, a church, or even a family. His standard is his own, and he delights in supplying “before and after” blessings — like he did when he cleansed the 10 lepers.
(Luke 17:11-18) As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you”
See Jesus cupping his hand over his eyes, waiting to celebrate with the 10 healed lepers? Hear his disappointment when only one came to say, “Thank you, Jesus!”
The way we express our gratitude for the miracle of his forgiveness, healings, or deliverance matters. The story of the 10 lepers reminds me not to get distracted and neglect taking time to thank Jesus for his blessings.
We must remember to celebrate with Jesus. He is waiting.