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Thanks for What: The Prayer

by in Soul Food

"They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!' " (Luke 17:12-13)

What a mental image this passage paints: Jesus walks into a Middle Eastern borderland village. Ten men are grouped together at shouting distance from Him, waiting, wrapped in bandages and slowly disintegrating from leprosy. Do they look pitiful? Dangerous? Afraid?

Due to their contagion, they can't let Jesus get too close. By law, they must warn Him off, but they also desperately need Him. They know who He is. Maybe they heard the Healer was coming their way. They call to Him by name -- "Jesus!" -- by rank -- "Master!" -- and then they shout their request -- "Have pity on us!"

We were the same, weren't we? Ravaged by sin. Separated from God. Destined for hard life followed by hopeless death. We were desperate, and Jesus was our only hope. God loved us in our rags, in our weakness, in our sin, and sent His Son.

We called Him by name: "You are the Christ, the Son of God." We called Him by rank: "You are Lord over heaven and earth." And we stated our belief: "You were perfectly clean, and you became sin for me. You died in my place on the cross and were raised to life again on the third day. In faith, I accept the free gift of being made clean, of abundant and eternal life in you."

Thank you, Jesus.

Think: Are you more grossed out by the idea of leprosy or your own sin? Which is more destructive? Which is easier to cure?

Pray: Thank God for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that made it possible for you to be made clean from your sin and live forever in heaven with Him.

Do: If you're a Christian, think of someone you could talk to this Thanksgiving weekend about your story of being made clean from your sin by God's grace through your faith in Jesus.

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