Much More Than Tithe – by Desmond Ford
- Bible study
- Christian Evidences
- Christian Living
- Dr Desmond Ford
- New Testament
Feb 9, 2016 2137
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As they were going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’
When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus‘ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him,’ Rise and go; your faith has made you well’ – Lk 17:11 -19.
Never be disturbed because people don’t say “Thank you.” If one in ten thanks you, you are being treated as well as Jesus. He received but 10 percent – a tithe of thanks.
There was some faith in all of the ten lepers. They set off without a word, though as yet they were not cleansed. They set off to see the priests in Jerusalem as they were told. They had a measure of faith and obedience. If their faith had worked by love, all ten would have been given a greater blessing than just a cleansing from physical leprosy. The one trouble with the nine is that they did not love. Or loved the wrong object – self.
The nine went on their way with their bodies healed but with a more loathsome disease upon them – the leprosy of ingratitude. If we do not give thanks to God, we are no more than cows and pigs and dogs. We are worse. We have spiritual leprosy.
Every miracle in Scripture has a lesson, which is why they were recorded. The despised Samaritan who re- turned is in contrast to the other nine. They were of Christ’s own privileged people, the Jews.
They had good reason, a legal reason, not to return. The law demanded that they go to the priest and show themselves. In obedience to that law Christ had ordered them to go. No doubt, they would also prepare all Jerusalem for Christ’s arrival with the story of their healing.
But sometimes the letter of the law kills, and it is the spirit that gives life. Love needs to overrule acts of Congress. The nine could have come back and thanked Jesus before they went on their lawful way. They held to the law but Christ could say to the one who received grace, “Your faith has made you well.” Spiritually, as well as physically, he received the nobler blessing.
Now we come to the punch line. There is only one reason why anyone will miss out on heaven. It isn’t murder, not adultery, not theft, not lying – but ingratitude!
Never be disturbed because people don’t say “Thank you.” If one in ten thanks you, you are being treated as well as Jesus. He received but 10 percent-a tithe-of thanks.
The issue now is the Son question not the sin question. The only reason people will be lost from the kingdom of heaven and eternal life is because they have not appreciated Calvary.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already – Jn 3:17,18.
People are not lost because of their sins, but because they have not been grateful for Christ.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him – Jn 3:36.
Think on that. Those who lack the spirit of gratitude for Calvary will lose eternal life. God has something better to give you than even the thousand gifts in which you rejoice from day to day.
We need to see Jesus there on the cross for us. That will bring gratitude – and much more than a tithe.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from “A Tithe of Thanks.”