DID you eat a meal today?— Do you know who prepared it?— Perhaps your mother did or someone else, but why should we thank God for it?— Because God is the one who makes it possible for food to grow. However, we should also thank the one who prepared the meal or the one who served it to us.
Sometimes we forget to say thank you when others do kind things for us, don’t we? When the Great Teacher was on earth, there were some lepers who forgot to say thank you.
Do you know what a leper is?— A leper is a person who has a sickness called leprosy. That sickness can even cause some of the person’s flesh to fall off. When Jesus lived on earth, lepers had to live away from other people. And if a leper saw another person coming, he had to call out to warn that person to stay away from him. This was done so that other people would not get too close and maybe get the leper’s sickness.
Jesus was very kind to lepers. One day on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus had to pass through a small town. When he got near the town, ten lepers came out to see him. They had heard that Jesus had power from God to cure all kinds of sicknesses.
The lepers did not come close to Jesus. They stood far off. But they believed that Jesus could take away their leprosy. So when the lepers saw the Great Teacher, they called out to him: ‘Jesus, Teacher, help us!’
Do you feel sorry for people who are sick?— Jesus did. He knew how sad it was to be a leper. So he answered them and said: “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”—Luke 17:11-14.
Why did Jesus tell them to do this? It was because of the law that Jehovah had given to His people about lepers. This law said that God’s priest was to look at the flesh of a leper. The priest would tell the leper when all of his sickness had left him. When he was well, he could live with well people again.—Leviticus 13:16, 17.
But these lepers still had their sickness. So did they go to the priest just as Jesus told them?— Yes, they did, right away. These men must have believed that Jesus would take away their sickness. What happened?
Well, while they were on their way to the priest, their sickness left them. Their flesh was healed. They were made well! Their belief in Jesus’ power was rewarded. What joy they felt! But, now, what should they have done to show their thanks? What would you have done?—
One of the healed men came back to Jesus. He began giving glory to Jehovah, saying good things about God. That was the right thing to do because the power to heal him had come from God. The man also fell down at the feet of the Great Teacher and thanked him. He was so grateful for what Jesus had done.
But what about the other nine men? Jesus asked: ‘There were ten lepers who were made well, were there not? Where are the other nine? Did only one turn back to give glory to God?’
Yes, it is true. Only one of the ten gave glory, or praise, to God and came back to thank Jesus. And this person was a Samaritan, a man from another country. The other nine men did not thank God, and they did not thank Jesus.—Luke 17:15-19.
Which of those men are you like? We want to be like the Samaritan man, don’t we?— So when someone does something kind for us, what should we remember to do?— We ought to express our thanks. People often forget to say thank you. But it is good to say thank you. When we do, Jehovah God and his Son, Jesus, are pleased.
If you think about it, you will remember that people have done many things for you. For example, have you ever been sick?— You may never have been as sick as those ten lepers, but you may have had a bad cold or a pain in your stomach. Did someone take care of you?— They may have given you some medicine and done other things for you. Were you glad that they helped you to get better?—
The Samaritan man thanked Jesus for making him well, and this made Jesus happy. Do you think that your mother or father will be happy if you say thank you when they do things for you?— Yes, they will.
Some people do things for you every day or every week. It may be their job to do these things. They may even be happy to do them. But you may forget to say thank you. Your schoolteacher may work hard to help you learn. This is her work. But she will be pleased if you thank her for helping you to learn.
Sometimes people just do little things for you. Does anyone ever hold a door open for you? Or does anyone ever pass food to you at the dinner table? It is good to say thank you for even these little things.
If we remember to say thank you to people on earth, then we are more likely to remember to say thank you to our Father in heaven. And how many things there are for which to thank Jehovah! He gave us life and all the good things that make life pleasant. So we have every reason to give glory to God by saying good things about him each day.