In some languages “Ta Ta” is short for goodbye, but at our house “Ta Ta” means thank you. We use it lots of times every day. In gratitude for large things. For small things. And for in-between things.
This evening as I read The Story of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17:11-19, I was reminded of the importance of saying thank you. We learned that as Jesus reached the border between Samaria and Galilee ten men with leprosy strategically greeted Him. Apparently, they heard of Jesus because they called Him by name shouting for Him to have mercy on them. Jesus looked at them with kindness and told them to go show themselves to the priest.
According to Levitical law, priests had the authority to pronounce people both clean or unclean–healthy or unhealthy. One of the most amazing parts of this encounter is what happened next. We learn in verse 14: “They went, and while still on their way, became clean.”
These ten words in my New Living Translation Bible document the miraculous healing of ten men. When these men headed obediently toward the priest, they were still lepers. If decaying arms and legs were still attached, the nerves to those appendages were likely damaged from the leprosy, often times leaving them dangling or dragging. Yet all ten of these men started walking in faith. “While still on their way” the miracle occurred.
The lesson for our lives is profound. God still renews us today. So often our healing begins with steps of faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our answer to prayer comes as we are walking obediently in faith as we go “while still on our way.” Though we may not have leprosy, don’t we still need healing? Sometimes it’s physical, other times it’s emotional or spiritual healing that’s needed. I desperately crave God’s healing touch. This passage reaches through the centuries and speaks to each of us. It shows us how important it is to seek Jesus, then obey, walking in faith.
The last half of this encounter shares a lesson about gratitude. In Luke 17:15 we learn that: “One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God.”
He couldn’t thank Jesus enough, falling at His feet praising Him. Today might you be able to think of ten blessings, as you reflect on the ten lepers? Can you be like the one man who came back to Jesus and express your gratitude to God right now? While we say “Ta Ta” at our house, how do you feel most comfortable thanking your Father?