Sickness can make us desperate.

During Jesus’ day, those stricken with leprosy were declared unclean and forced into leper colonies. I wonder how ten lepers managed to be around when Jesus entered a particular village during His travels between Samaria and Galilee. Luke 17: 12 clarifies that these diseased men stood at a distance as He approached. But in desperation they raised their voices saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

Jesus saw them and said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” I hadn’t realized the significance of this statement, in relationship to what followed, until I heard a Thanksgiving message last Sunday. The wonderful reason for Jesus’ instructions was He planned to heal them as they walked, and He knew the priests had to see proof of their healing before they would be released into society.

Can you imagine the scene? The men obeyed Jesus and turned away from Him. They walked, perhaps trudged for a distance, all the while bearing their curse. Then the miracle happened. Their skin began to turn pink; their limbs grew back; they felt the sensation of their noses expanding to normal size. Surely right there in that dusty road, they jumped for joy.

They probably began running toward the temple, eager to find a priest. Except for one leper.

“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at [Jesus’s] feet, giving thanks to Him.”

One moment this leaper had cried out to Jesus, begging for the mercy of healing. Now the voice of this free man soared in thanksgiving to the One who had heard his desperate cries and healed his diseased body.

“Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they?’”

Looking into the eyes of the one, Jesus said, “Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

In the words of the deliverer of our Thanksgiving message, “All ten lepers received the mercy of physical healing. Only one had opened the gate of free access into the presence of God and His overflowing blessings.”

Let each of us “Be the One” who turns aside from this busy season and glorifies God by saying, “Thank You for healing me from my sins through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Thank you for allowing me free access to Your presence where I can know You better and experience Your blessings.”