Jesus has done all for us, so our lives should be full of gratitude.
17 Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied round their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.
‘If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying “I repent,” you must forgive them.’
5 The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’
6 He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.
7 ‘Suppose one of you has a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, “Come along now and sit down to eat”? 8 Won’t he rather say, “Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink”? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”’
11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’
14 When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19 Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’
Jesus covers a great deal of territory in this section. He tells us to be wary of causing people to stumble. He urges on us the need to be forgiving, and explains what it means to believe. Then with a parable he shows we need to serve out of gratitude. This is followed by an incident where we learn that the Lord expects gratitude for his goodness to us.
Undergirding all of this is the reality of Jesus Christ and his saving work for us. In him we are forgiven, blessed for eternity, and loved with a love that will never dim. If we have been rescued by him, then we would never want to see somebody else stumble. It is only the grace of God that has prevented us from stumbling.
When we are confronted by somebody asking for forgiveness how could we respond with anything else but forgiveness in the light of all that Jesus has dealt with in our lives. When thinking of the power of faith, we need to gauge it by the power of its object not on our capacity to believe. It is then we can grasp that if Christ is able to remove the greatness of our sin as we feebly trust in him, then faith as small as a mustard seed can surely uproot a tree; if the faith is in Jesus. We can trust Jesus completely in all situations.
The depth of God’s love and mercy to his people means that anything he might ask of us in return is reasonable. We might wonder at the poor servant working in the fields, cooking and waiting at his master’s table and only then allowed to eat and rest, but it is very reasonable when the servant owes absolutely everything to the master. We can’t do too much in serving our Lord Jesus. Our gratitude will never be exhausted.
Similarly, when we contemplate the lepers who are healed by Jesus. Thankfulness is only appropriate. We are a healed people if we believe in Jesus. A life heading for eternal destruction has been rescued, provided with all blessing for eternity and set on the path of joyful service to our Lord. How can we be anything else but thankful to him?
If, as is stated in the opening paragraph, the Lord Jesus expects us to show gratitude for his goodness, then we need to give careful thought to what he has done for us. He died so there is no more condemnation for you. He lived so you might be clothed in his righteousness. He rose again to provide you with new life now and life behind this world in a resurrected body. The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to your life to transform you. In Christ you can live as God’s beloved child. Contemplating these realities, you will care for others, forgive, trust, serve when it is hard, and be full of thanksgiving.
Head: Understand the depths of what Jesus has done for you so that your life is in response to him.
Heart: Love the Lord as he has loved you.
Hands: Express your gratitude to the Lord by serving him with love, patience and compassion to others.
Prayer: Loving Father, I recognise that I frequently live without much thought to all that I have from Christ. Please move my heart and my thoughts so that Christ and his saving work takes the central place in my life. In Jesus name. Amen
A song to listen to: This is Love
Living Church – Creek Road