- By Wilson Matthews
- Published 10/22/2008
Wilson is the youth leader at International Punjabi Masihi Church in Vancouver, Canada. Everyone loves this radical preacher's passion for Christ and His Church. Wilson helped organize the South Asian Global Convention (SAGC 2004) under the leadership of Pastor Pritam Singh. He is as "hairy-as-a-yak," "spits-like-a-camel," and is a F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) Christian. Wilson, a Malayalee Christian holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western University and his mission is to make Scripture relevant to today's generation. Famous quote: "Knock it off!"
"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was 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." (Luke 17:11-21)
We recently celebrated our Thanksgiving Day. It reminded me of the above passage. We see two kinds of relationships at work here. Let's look at the relationship between the nine lepers and Jesus.
There belong to those who have a shallow relationship with God. This kind of relationship involve people who only think about what they can get out of a relationship or person. They are always wondering, "What is it it for me?" They are opportunists and see people as a means to their own selfish ends. They use people. They put all sorts of conditions in their relationship with the unconditional lover. They are used to taking in any relationship but never giving and like in any relationship there is always conflict because one person is always being selfish. They affirm James 3:16, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." These kinds of people are never grateful.
Than there are others like the one leper who gave thanks. They can appreciate the goodness and compassion and kindness of Jesus. They know the value of friendships and gifts and people. They are lovers. They are also able to affirm that, "'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35) They have denied self and never gave in to the cynicism and bitterness that can be thrown at us from the evil of this world. They have successfully guarded their hearts against such horror.