“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ He looked at them and said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.'” Luke 17:11-19, NLT
Because leprosy was contagious, people who had leprosy were required to stay away from other people and to announce their presence if they had to come near. Sometimes leprosy would go into remission. If people thought their leprosy had gone away, they were supposed to present themselves to a priest, who could declare them clean (Leviticus 14). Jesus sent the ten men with leprosy to the priest before they were healed—and they went! They responded in faith, and Jesus healed them on the way. Is your trust in God strong enough that you act on what he says even before you see evidence that it will work?
Jesus healed all ten men with leprosy, but only one returned to thank him. It is possible to receive God’s great gifts with an ungrateful spirit—nine of the ten men did so. Only the thankful man, however, allowed his gratitude to further develop his faith. Through our gratitude, we grow in our understanding of God’s grace and see how much he loves us. God does not demand that we thank him, but he is pleased when we do so. And he uses our responsiveness to teach us more about himself.
Not only was this a man with leprosy, but he was also a Samaritan—a member of a race of people despised by the Jews as idolatrous half-breeds. Once again Luke points out that God offers grace to everybody.
A Few of Our Favorite Things (Well, Favorite Bibles)
Tyndale House Publishers
When you think of the brown paper packages tied up with string or whatever wrapping paper you use during the Christmas season, what do you hope is inside? From the practical to the sublime, Christmas wish lists can represent what’s going on in our lives. This year, the Bible team’s wish lists include some gifts with eternal significance: Bibles! Which one is on your list?
Massie: I hope to find The One Year Bible for Women under my tree this year! It is a beautiful Bible broken down into 365 readings, so I can be sure to meet my goal of reading the entire Bible in a year. It not only allows me to sit in the Word each day but also has insightful, inspirational devotional thoughts written for women. It is just what I need to fill up my spiritual cup each morning and set me on the right path for the day. I hope The One Year Bible for Men, which has devotionals written for men, is under my tree as well so that my husband and I can read the Bible together and discuss what we took from the reading each day.
Amy: I’m hoping to wake up on Christmas morning and find The One Year Chronological Study Bible under the tree. Like other One Year Bibles, it will help me read through the entire Bible in a year. This one presents the events of the Bible in chronological order, which I find really enhances my understanding of and appreciation for God’s unfolding story. On top of that, it’s both a study Bible and a devotional Bible, which is like getting two Bibles in one! And I love the way the 14 eras of the biblical story run across the bottom of every page, acting as milestones and showing which era I’m reading in so I’ll always be able to see where I’m at in relation to the rest of the story. This Bible will require a higher level of commitment than most One Year Bibles, and I’m ready for the challenge!
Jeff: I’ve fallen in love with the NLT Large Print Thinline Reference Bible, Evergreen Mountain LeatherLike. As part of the teaching team in our church’s high school ministry, I’ve found this Bible is the perfect combination of highly readable and easy to hold while speaking. In particular, I love the way the chapter numbers are called out, making it very easy to keep my place while teaching. The Smyth-sewn binding and trim size mean that this is a Bible that stays open anywhere—on a pulpit, on a music stand, or even on your lap! And Filament gives me easy access to resources that I can share to the TV from my phone, especially Bible Project videos. Finally, I love the poignant reminder on this cover: to look not to the mountains but to the Lord for help.
Claudia: I would like the NTV Inspira Bibleunder my tree this year. I am a huge fan of the Inspire Bible, and for many years I was longing for a Spanish edition to be published. I love the fact that this Bible is in my favorite Bible translation, so now I have the opportunity to journal while I meditate on God’s Word. I’m also a very visual person, so I’m sure I’m going to enjoy all the beautiful illustrations and also express my creativity through my own drawings. I picture this Bible being one of the treasures that I will pass on to my next generation.
Becky: This Christmas I’d love the NLT Thrive Creative Journaling Devotional Bible. This is a lay-flat journaling Bible that not only looks beautiful but also is comfortable to read and easy to hold in your hands. Its perfectly designed pages invite you to reflect and then journal your thoughts in the lined margins, which appear on every page. This Bible also features a collection of short daily devotionals that are affirming, practical, and memorable. Whatever your concern or struggle, this Bible will help you find assurance in God’s Word and encourage you to thrive every day of your life. I love being able to capture the verses that are most meaningful to me in the margins of this Bible. And there’s plenty of space to add artwork, stickers, stencils, or other ephemera, if desired.
Callie: This year, I’m wishing for the NLT Art of Life Bible. While I’m not an artist or heavy journaler, I love the wide margin design that this Bible offers and the space that it gives me for jotting down notes. I’ve thumbed through it before, and the drawings of animals, plants, and Bible character portraits are so beautiful! Plus, it has captions that connect each illustration to Scripture so I can learn interesting facts and parallels that I never would’ve known otherwise. This is a Bible that I know I will enjoy for years to come.
Jim: When you look at several Tyndale Bibles, you’ll note a lot of common elements: the written text of God’s Word (we feature the clear and accurate New Living Translation), beautiful and durable covers, a table of contents, Bible index, and other common features. But what I want for Christmas this year is an edition of the NLT Large Print Thinline Reference Bible that is equipped with the Filament Bible app and, yes, a zipper. When I previewed this Bible, I was struck by its unique qualities. It is a remarkably thin Bible—I thought at first that it was a New Testament, but it’s the whole Bible! The Large Print edition is super readable, but the type is not oversized; it’s “just right” for my eyes. I like the Messenger Stone and Camel cover—a TuTone brown cover. Although it’s LeatherLike, part of it looks and feels like cloth. Here’s why I love the zipper feature: I’ll keep this Bible in my backpack, which can be hard on books and Bibles, but having it zippered will protect the pages. Translation notes and cross-references in the lower right corner of each two-page spread help make this a nice reading Bible with just the right amount of references. There are two additional features in the back of the Bible: the “Tyndale Verse Finder,” which is organized by theme, and the fabulous “Visual Overview of the Bible,” with full-color maps and charts.
Sibley: Gift giving brings me so much JOY! For Christmas this year, I’d love to give my mom the new Inspire Bible in Spanish—la Biblia Inspira NTV. We’ve always bonded through art, and I have so many happy memories of us doing crafts together and inspiring each other to be more creative, so this is right up our alley. Bible journaling will be something completely new for both of us, so it will be a really fun experience for us to try, and it will be even better since we’ll be able to spend more time connecting with God and his Word. When I first saw the Inspire Bibles and portions in the New Living Translation, I fell in love with the artwork and cover designs. And even though I also love the NLT, I’m so glad that it’s available in Spanish now in the Nueva Traducción Viviente. It will make reading and understanding the Bible much easier because it’s in our native language.
Evie: I absolutely love the DaySpring Filament Bible Signature Collection’s Personal Size Giant Print Bible. I don’t even need a font size that big, but I just can’t get enough of that cover. I would love to see it under my Christmas tree. In addition to having a gorgeous cover, it contains the words of God speaking to me through the New Living Translation and access to thousands of resources available through the Filament Bible app, making this such a perfect gift. I can delve into Scripture and just read without distractions, basking in God’s truth. Then, I can go back to places where I have questions or want to know more, scan the page number with my phone, and do a deep dive into what I am reading with resources available in the Filament app.