The leper's story of a miraculous healing in Luke 17 is remarkable—to see such a disease immediately eradicated in someone's life is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Yet when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are healed even more completely! Once we were eternally separated from God by our sins, but Jesus has made forgiveness possible through His obedient sacrifice on the cross. Through His blood we have been healed. When we consider this year and what we have to be thankful about we ought to consider the depth of our greatest blessing—cleansing of a spiritual leprosy (our sin).
A second lesson that we can learn from a leper is that we need to make thanksgiving a priority of life. The leper didn't wait to return to Jesus when it was convenient or after he had visited the priests. He went immediately to Jesus. The priests did not heal the leper, and the leper knew it. He returned to the only One worthy of his worship and thanksgiving. Have we been visiting the throne room of grace to thank the One from whom our blessings come?
A third lesson that can be learned is that thanksgiving should be offered from the outpouring of grateful hearts. There was an intensity in the leper's worship because he was aware of his helplessness to secure for himself the healing that he needed. How much more wonderful is the eternal healing for those who have been forgiven and now are able to follow Jesus Christ? May our thanksgiving be an enthusiastic celebration of Christ for healing that only He can bring about!
Lastly, we must learn to be consistent in our thanksgiving beyond the Thanksgiving season. The more intentional we are about offering thanks to God, the easier it becomes to see His goodness in our lives. That is why we are repeatedly commanded in the Bible to be thankful in all things (1 Thess. 5:18). No one could ever begin to bless us like our heavenly Father.
I hope that our families see in us the natural response of always going back to our heavenly Father for His ceaseless blessings. Let us be diligent in thanking Him for His grace and goodness. Let’s let others know the things that we are most thankful for in our lives!