Text: Luke 17:11-19
Memory verse:
”Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”“
‭‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There is a saying that, “Familiarity breeds contempt”. Familiarity makes people to take acts of kindness for granted. This bad attitude comes with serious negative consequences. “Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:4 NLT). Our Lord made this statement to the people of Galilee, His hometown, as a rebuke and not as a commendation. Being so familiar with His family background, they placed little or no value on His words. The implication was that they missed out of His glory: they couldn’t maximize the benefits of His miraculous power. “And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Mark 13:58).
In our text today, ten lepers, who were at the outskirt of Galilee, between Galilee and Samaria, cried out to Jesus for mercy. According to the law of Moses, lepers were regarded as highly unclean and barred from living within the town. A hopeless life! They were also expected to loudly announce, “unclean, unclean”, whenever they were on the way to alert everyone in order to avoid them. What a miserable and dehumanizing life! These ten lepers included one Samaritan. Samaritans were detested and looked down upon by the Jews.
Interestingly, having discovered that they were healed, only this one “foreigner” returned to thank Him. Why this ingratitude by the remaining nine citizens? Firstly, familiarity! They probably knew Him well before they were barred into the lepers’ colony. Familiarity has the tendency to generate ingratitude and disrespect.
Secondly, they placed little value on the mercy they received. Unlike the Samaritan, who suffered double pains – reproach as a leper and as an outcast! You can’t be grateful for the mercy you don’t value!
Thirdly, they were just proud people. As Jews, they would have compared themselves with the Samaritans and pride themselves as the covenant people. Pride makes ungrateful people but humility stirs up gratitude. See the humility with which the Samaritan expressed his gratitude.(Luke 17: 15-16).
Friends, don’t be over familiar with God nor take His mercy for granted. Let gratitude be your lifestyle this year. Hallelujah!

Prayer points
1. Father, thank You for access into Your presence and for Your wonders in my life.
2. Father, please, let me never be over familiar with You and Your mercy this year, in Jesus’ name.

Today’s declarations
1. Rather than permitting pride, I am daily humbled by the undeserved mercies I receive from God.
2. Being conscious of what familiarity breeds, I will watch out for any sign of ingratitude in me.

Contact: pastor@thf.org.ng