Daily Devotional

The Gift and the Giver

Saturday, November 26, 2022
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Jesus said: “Were not all ten cleansed? The other nine, where are they?” Luke 17:17, NEB.

Imagine that as you get up every morning and look into the mirror, you see yourself covered with blotchy, decaying skin and deformed tissue. In Jesus’ time thousands of people had this experience-leprosy-and they knew it to be an isolating, painful, and ultimately fatal illness.

Even worse, people told them that the disease was far more than a physical problem-it was a religious problem, a public sign of God’s judgment and disapproval. It was a disease that, in the view of the religious authorities of the day, enabled the rest of society to see one suffering under punishment from God for some major sin. And because one languished with leprosy in a steady, downhill slide into death, it was clear to them that God’s condemnation and punishment were both permanent and fatal.

No wonder, then, that Jesus never encountered a leper without healing him or her. For not only was Jesus moved by their physical suffering; He also protested against the twisted and tragic view of His Father the disease was thought to represent.

On one occasion He even healed 10 lepers at the same time. Then the story takes an interesting turn. Nine of them were so taken with their fresh skin that they rushed down the road to embrace their friends and forgot all about the One who made them well. Only one former leper recognized that the power of the moment was not in his clean skin, but in the One who made it whole. And he returned and bowed at the feet of Jesus.

Our old instincts would likely have approved should God have allowed the leprosy to return to those nine ungrateful wretches as they scampered down the road so self-absorbed in their gift that they forgot the Giver. But that would have missed Jesus’ larger point. Though forgiveness is offered to all, only those who love the Forgiver have entered into life.

Have you entered into life?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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