Would it surprise you to learn that THANKFULNESS is mentioned 73 times in the New Testament? 20 in the Gospels? I don’t know about you, but that stirred up in me the question: what do the Scriptures say Jesus “gave thanks” for? Your Bible records 7 times where Jesus “gave thanks”.
First, Mt 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Jesus was thankful that the truths of His coming might not be seen by the world, but they would be understood by those who were searching for the truth.
Second, Lk 10:21 is another occasion where Jesus thanked the Father as He had done in Mt. 11:25.
Third, Jesus “gave thanks” before He miraculously fed the 4,000, Mt 15:36; Mk 8:6
Fourth, Jesus “gave thanks” before He miraculously fed the 5,000. Jn 6:11.
Fifth, He “gave thanks” at the raising of Lazarus in Jn 11:41-42 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Sixth, Jesus “gave thanks” at the Passover meal (not the Lord’s Supper yet) in Lk 22:17-18 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
Finally, Jesus “gave thanks” at the Lord’s Supper in Lk 22:19 as He broke the bread and in Mt 26:27 & Mk 14:23 as He shared the wine. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Then, in the same way, after the supper, he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you in remembrance of me. And they all drank from it. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (a blended version of Mt, Mk, Lk & 1 Cor 11)
So if you are a faithful follower of Jesus:
1- are you thankful that your childlike eyes have been opened to see and know the marvelous Savior?
2- are you thankful for your abundant daily provisions and blessings which all come from God?
3- are you thankful that God hears you every time you pray, regardless of what time it is? 4- are you thankful for the plans God has for your life, both the pleasant times and the hard ones?
If you are not sure what all to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, making sure that your list includes being thankful for what Jesus was thankful for, could be a very good idea. God bless.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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