In the movie Groundhog Day, Phil Connors is caught in a loop that repeats Groundhog Day and its series of events over and over. In one particular scene we see him walking down a sidewalk counting aloud, eventually rushing forward at the last minute to catch a young boy who has fallen out of a tree. As the young lad is put down he runs away to Phil’s voice shouting, “You have never once thanked me! See you tomorrow!” It certainly would have been proper since he had been saved from possible injury!
The thought of being grateful or showing appreciation is something that is sometimes lacking as we go through life. And the times of today aren’t much different than those of the past. Take for instance the text of scripture found in Mark 6:53 and following. Jesus and His disciples arrive ashore after enduring a difficult night on the Sea of Galilee only to be recognized immediately by the people of Gennesaret. Their response was to scour the countryside for all the sick, lame and otherwise infirmed they could find, all the while keeping tabs on where Jesus might be, in order to bring them into His presence. No matter where Jesus found Himself, people with needs were there, ‘entreating Him that they might just touch the fringe of His garment’ (vs. 56) so that they might be healed of their affliction. This scene reminds me of the woman with the hemorrhage of twelve years who did just that and was healed (Mark 5:27).
What I find to be remarkable isn’t so much what we see in the text, but what we do not see. Even through the first verses of chapter 7 we see not one indication of gratitude for what Jesus did for so many in need. Was this an oversight on the part of Mark? Perhaps, but we know that ingratitude was not always the case. Take, for example, the ten lepers who were cleansed of their condition (Luke 10:11ff). One of them saw fit to return to the presence of Jesus, humbling himself at the Lord’s feet praising God and thanking Jesus for what He had done. But still there were the nine who did not return… perhaps they had opportunity later. Again, in Mark chapter 5, we read of an individual who was possessed by many demons who identified himself as Legion. Jesus exercised His authority and power by casting them out and into a herd of swine, delivering that man from unbearable anguish and suffering! His response was to entreat Jesus to be allowed to accompany Him as He was leaving. He wanted to be in Jesus’ presence! Jesus told the man to go and tell his people what great things the Lord has done for him.
With what Jesus has done for us in saving us from our sins, what have we done, to show our gratitude?
Copyright © 2014, Nolan P. Rutter