Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Giving Thanks to Jesus
It was his Friday night ritual. He went to an old pier on the eastern coast of Florida with a bucket of shrimp. One by one, he pulled out the shrimp and fed the seagulls as they flocked around him. Most onlookers thought he was just a crazy old guy. But his name is Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, and during World War 2, he was stranded at sea. When all seemed lost, a seagull landed on Eddie’s hat, and miraculously, without a struggle, the seagull allowed itself to be caught. Eddie and the other men ate what they could and used what remained of the bird as bait. Its sacrifice saved them. His way of saying thank you was to feed those birds every Friday night.
Jesus miraculously healed ten men from leprosy, but only one of them came back to give thanks to Jesus. Perhaps the others were thankful, but didn’t show their gratitude to the one who healed them. Only one came back to express his thanks to Jesus.
His gratitude was a sign of his faith in Jesus, a faith that consisted in total dependence on God. The man knew there was nothing he could do to heal himself of leprosy; only Jesus could do that. His faith didn’t disappoint him, and through his faith, Jesus assured him that he was saved.
Faith in Jesus saves. Faith saves because God gives undeserved, unqualified, unconditional love. The proper response is the same as the leper who came back: to fall at Jesus’ feet and give thanks.
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was a Christian. He said that he was saved to serve God and to serve others. That’s an even better way to say thanks than feeding seagulls some shrimp. It’s a way that we can all say thank you to Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for giving me faith to trust in your saving work. Help me say thanks by serving you and the people in my life. Amen.