For reasons that remain opaque to me, my two oldest children (ages 7 and 5) have lately become enamored of the story of the ten cleansed lepers, and regularly ask to have it told to them. Last night, during family home evening, they asked to hear it again. We obliged, and when we got to the part where the one returns to give thanks, Steve asked, “And what did Jesus say?”
Sam (3) said “You’re welcome!”
After I picked myself up from the floor, it seemed to me that, in fact, this might have been the expected response from a gracious lord. “Where are those other nine ingrates?” seems, well, human.
Is Christ here teaching the principle that “in nothing doth man offend God…” If so, how and why is it offensive to God if we don’t acknowledge his hand? Isn’t it a little petty to require credit? Of course there are plenty of reasons why a posture of gratitude is appropriate and psychologically beneficial for humans, but why should God be “offended” when human gratitude is not forthcoming? Why would Jesus respond piquedly about the other nine, instead of just praising the one who demonstrated the proper attitude?