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A Lesson of Extravagant Thanks

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Growing up, whenever I would go to a friend’s house, my mother would tell me, “Make sure you say thank you.” If I was fed a meal, I was told to say thank you. If I was given a gift, I was told to say thank you. Regardless of what I was doing, every time I came home from a friend's house, my mother would ask, “Did you say thank you today?” Learning to say “thank you” was so impressed upon me as a child; it became something that I said often because I knew it was the right response. But there is a difference between an “auto-pilot” thank you and one that is truly felt from the depths of your heart. 

Luke 17 tells us a story where we see an example of extravagant, heartfelt thanks. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, passing between Samaria and Galilee, when He came into a village where 10 lepers were standing at a distance. The Bible tells us they all began to call out to Him. In a moment, when He spoke to them, they were healed (Luke 17:11-14 ESV). We don’t know many details of this story or how long the lepers had been lame. However, we do know that they were viewed as outcasts from society and that there was no hope for them to ever be whole. Many of them may have spent years in sickness, hoping for a miracle. Then comes Jesus onto the scene, and in a moment, He heals them all: 

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. (Luke 17:15-16)

In an instant, all 10 lepers were healed. But only one of them returned to say thank you to Jesus. The Bible tells us he “fell on his face at Jesus’ feet” and gave extravagant thanks. I can imagine what this leper must have felt. His only response was one of awe and thankfulness. I’m sure it was an emotional moment for him as he praised God and poured out extravagant thanks at Jesus’ feet.  

I often wonder how the other nine lepers could have not given thanks to God and gone on their way. With a critical and judgmental spirit, I often read this passage and think, “how could they not give thanks!” But then, I’m reminded that I, too, often forget to give the Lord thanks for the miracles He works in my life. So often, I am not the man who returned to say thank you. I am one of the nine. God’s miracles are all around me, and all too often, I forget to stop and say thank You when He moves. How often do we, like children, say thank you just because we are told to? Or even more so, forget to say thank You for what He does?

Today, there is good news! It’s not too late to return and remember all the things God has done for us. We can choose today to give extravagant thanks to the Father.

Psalm 9:1 says, I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 

May we pause today and give true, extravagant thanks to the Lord for His great love and everything He has done for us! Just like the lame beggar who returned, may we return to the Lord, fall at His feet, and pour out our extravagant thank You. 


Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Marissa Nordlum

Since 2021, Marissa Nordlum has been CBN's email analyst and devotional writer. She has a passion for the local church and loves seeing creative writing edified in music and written content. Her background is in church ministry, where she served as a youth pastor and worship leader. She lives with her husband and their three sons in Arizona.

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