The following is an excerpt from Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late Bible Study, an updated study from James MacDonald uses examples from the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt to show that attitudes can affect our walk with God. Find more information at lifeway.com.
Another lifetime ago, 10 men led healthy, happy lives. Just normal lives—married with kids, doing their best to support their families with jobs that promised advancement. They had a future. They had dreams.
But that was long ago … before the illness had eaten away their bodies. Before the numbness had stolen strength from their limbs and feeling from their fingers and toes. Before their faces had grown disfigured beyond recognition. Before their families said good-bye and turned their backs.
Now they were the walking dead, begging for something, anything. One morning as they approached yet another village to beg, they heard the name of a visiting Teacher. For months His name had spread through the leper colony like a whispered wildfire: Jesus. He heals lepers. He doesn’t turn away. His words restore life. There He was, standing at the well not far from them, and He was looking their way! All at once their 10 pitiful, hoarse voices cried in unison: “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!” He compassionately told them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” That was all. No touch. Just that one directive. So with faith and desperation equal to the moment, the 10 turned to Jerusalem and to the priests who were the only ones who could declare them clean. Nothing had changed, but they also had nothing to lose.
Then came the miracle. Somehow, suddenly, completely, unconditionally, they were cleansed. Their skin was as fresh and smooth as a baby’s. They were healthy, whole, healed.
Nine healthy men shouted, cheered, and raced down the road like boys dismissed to the playground and never looked back. But one man, a Samaritan, spun around, ran to Jesus, and flung himself at His feet. Tears spilled down his strong, soft cheeks. Trembling, he whispered two words: “Thank You.”
This story definitively answers these questions: Is a thankful attitude such a big deal? Does God really care that much about how thankful people are? The answer is yes!
This Gospel account of the 10 cleansed lepers (see Luke 17:11-19) prompts a range of emotions—first, sorrow at the terrible suffering they must have endured, then complete joy at the thought of the 10 lepers healed, jumping around on whole legs and shouting from restored vocal cords.
But the obvious question remains: What about their hearts? If you had been one of those healed that day, would you have run with the 9 or returned to thank Jesus? Would you have been grateful? What would you have done?
Excerpted from James MacDonald, Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late Bible Study. © 2016 LifeWay Press. Used by permission.