Thankfulness

This kind of thankfulness is worship.
One of the men came back to Jesus, and praised God.  He was thankful. He was public about it.  He was loud – he wasn’t shy at all.
Why was he so loud?  This guy had been forced to yell for as long as he’d had leprosy.  Had it been years?  He’d probably yelled so long, he didn’t know how to come to the Lord quietly, or even in a normal voice.  When he came back and fell at the feet of Jesus, he was just louder than the normal person, and he was praising God.  He caught himself int he midst of the celebration, and returned to Jesus.  He reversed his steps, put his family on hold, put the priest on hold, and came back to the cause of his celebration.  His response and life situation were unique, but in the simplest sense of what he did, his thankfulness led to action.  And that turned out to be important!
 
“Where are the other nine?” Jesus asked.
 
Do you realize what this says? Jesus said, “Go, and show yourselves to the priests.”  Jesus never commanded that any of them express thankfulness to God, or return to him, the healer.  Nevertheless, that is what Jesus expected.  
What kind of action is Jesus looking for from you?  Has God’s Holy Spirit been urging you toward some action step?  Had the Lord been tugging at you for some step of faith?  Is there a family, a friend, or even a stranger in need of help this Thanksgiving season? Is there something you feel compelled to do?
 
A leper approaches Jesus, stopping at the required distance.  He knelt before Jesus, begging for help.  The very sight of him was repulsive.  The smell of him was revolting.  People gasped, and backed away.  Matthew writes that Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.
 
A moment later, he tells us that Jesus spoke the words: “Be clean…go show yourself to the priest.”  Did you see both miracles?  the leprosy was gone.  That’s the easy miracle to see.  But the other one? It was the touche of a loving hand.  It was the touche of a human hand.
 
Today, you’ve touched more people in an hour than this man had touched in years.  Today, you’ve been close to friends, or family.  Maybe a child has been in your lap.  Maybe a hug met you at a door.  Maybe it was a firm handshake from a friend.  Not this guy.  he longed for a loving touch more than he longed for food.  More than he needed water, he needed love.  And before he was healed, while there was still a tremendous risk, Jesus was willing to give him that touch.  No abuse has scarred you so badly that Jesus won’t touch you.  Jesus is willing to lovingly touch you, hold you and restore you.  No sin has made you unlovable.  Jesus is willing to call you His friend, and stand beside you.  It was His death that paid for your sin.  
 
No fear has disqualified you.  No problem has put your life on hold.  No failure has negated his love.  The miracle of Thanksgiving is the love of Jesus, for you.  No exceptions, no qualifications, no doubts.  He loves you!
 
And for that, o God, we are so thankful.