And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): These ten lepers were a representation of all mankind; not more than one of ten that receive signal mercies from the bountiful hand of Divine Providence cometh to give God any suitable homage.
EDWARD PAYSON (1783-1827): In a similar manner He has been treated by mankind ever since. Even His professed disciples often requite His love with the most cruel distrust, unkindness and ingratitude. They show little concern for His honour. They are slow to believe, slow to learn, and quick to forget what He has taught them. Every day, and almost every hour, He has reason to say to them, “O ye of little faith! Do ye thus requite my love, O ungrateful and unwise!” All this He foresaw, when He consented to die for us; but the current of His love was too deep and strong to be checked or diverted from its course. And notwithstanding the innumerable slights and provocations which He has received, and is daily receiving, it still flows as deep and strong as ever.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): It is ten to one if any return to give thanks.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): How poor we are in our returns! This intimates that ingratitude is a very common sin. Of the many that receive mercy from God, there are but few, very few, that return to give thanks in a right manner, that render according to the benefit done to them…Unthankfulness and unholiness make the times perilous, and these two commonly go together (II Timothy 3:1-3). What is the reason that men are unholy and without the fear of God, but that they are unthankful for the mercies of God? Ingratitude and impiety go together.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Consider, then, for a moment, how bad human nature must be if we think how ill it has treated God. I remember William Huntingdon says in his autobiography, that one of the sharpest sensations of pain that he felt after he had been quickened by divine grace was this, “He felt such pity for God.” I do not know that I ever met with such an expression elsewhere, but it is a very expressive one; although I might prefer to say ‘such sympathy with God and grief that He should be so evil entreated.’ Ah, my friends, there are many men that are forgotten, that are despised, and that are trampled on by their fellows; but there never was a man who was so despised as the everlasting God has been. Many a man has been slandered and abused, but never was man abused as God has been. Many have been treated cruelly and ungratefully, but never one was treated as our God has been.
THOMAS CASE (1598-1682): Witness that caution inculcated by Moses and Joshua: When thou hast eaten and art full…Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, Deuteronomy 8:10,11. While men fill themselves with the mercies of God, they can neglect the God of their mercies. When God is most liberal in remembering us, we are most ungrateful to forget God.
C. H. SPURGEON: Let us look back upon our past lives—how ungrateful have we been to Him!
R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Look back on the last seven days of your life: how much of thanksgiving and praise has your heart rendered to God?
COLONEL JAMES GARDINER (1688-1745): Oh, how good a master do I serve! but alas, how ungrateful I am! what can be so astonishing as the love of Christ to us, unless it be the coldness of our sinful hearts towards such a Saviour?
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): Though the Lord Jehovah speaks not of Him, without commending Him; yet wretched and ingrate we, can, alas! speak of Him, and hear Him spoken of, with hearts very little affected. Believers may be ashamed of this; we think lamentably little of Him, we esteem not suitably of Him.
EDWARD PAYSON: Our temporal mercies, our spiritual privileges should all pass in review. We should look back to the never to be forgotten time of love, when He found us poor, miserable, wretched, blind and naked; dead in trespasses and sins, having no hope, and without God in the world. We should remember how He pitied us, awakened us, convinced us of sin, and drew us to Himself by the cords of love. We should remember how often He has since healed our backslidings, pardoned our sins, borne with our unbelief, ingratitude, and slowness to learn; supplied our wants, listened to our complaints, alleviated our sorrows, and revived our drooping spirits when we were ready to faint.
MATTHEW HENRY: I am sure we now have reason to thank God, upon our knees.
EDWARD PAYSON: Can not some of you reply, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love Thee. Thou knowest that, notwithstanding our coldness, our ingratitude, and numberless imperfections, the desire of our souls is still to Thee, and to the remembrance of Thy name?”
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be; but I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
DANIEL SMART (1808-1888): Thanks be to God for saving grace!
SELINA HASTINGS, COUNTESS OF HUNTINGDON (1707-1791): God has said “not many mighty, not many noble, are called,” I Corinthians 1:26. I am thankful for the letter “m.”
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Thank God we are saved in spite of ourselves, in spite of our ignorance and everything else that is true of us.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): Let us sing Psalms and spite the devil!
JOHN BOYS (1619-1625): As the Lord loves a cheerful giver, so likewise a cheerful thanksgiver.
ERNST C. HOMBURG (1605-1681):
Thou Life of my life, blessed Jesus,
Thou death of the death that was mine,
For me was Thy cross and Thine anguish,
Thy love and Thy sorrow divine…
Thou suffered the cross and the torment,
That I might forever go free—
A thousand, a thousand thanksgivings,
I bring, Blessed Saviour, to Thee!