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John 1:11

Jesus came unto His own people, the Jews, and they rejected Him.
He matched all the descriptions their prophets had given them.
But the Jews were looking for an earthly leader who would dazzle them.
They would not acknowledge the true Messiah, even though He continued to preach to them
with divine authority and continued to perform amazing miracles.

Look at the chosen people!
Look at their ingratitude towards Him.

They were a favored people above all nations.
It was a mark of divine favor to have had the Messiah to be born among them.
They should have received Him with happiness.
The signs and evidence of His Messiahship were evident.
He performed unbelievable miracles and spoke as no other man ever spoke, yet they totally rejected Him.
This was an act of national ingratitude.

There were many special cases that occurred in our Lord's life involving still greater ingratitude. Yet, the multitude of those who were healed never became His disciples.
Jesus healed hundreds and probably thousands who could tell you of His healing power, yet, they never worshipped Him.

Unbelievable ingratitude! That's the way it was! We know that our Lord fed thousands of hungry people. They would even have made Him king.
Yet, they had no love for Him or His teaching, but followed Him totally for what they could get out of Him.
Many of those selfish followers were probably in the crowd who shouted, "Crucify Him!"
He fed them, yet they cried, "Crucify Him!"

It is absolutely unbelievable that people should receive so much from Him and yet remain unbelievers.
Even His disciples, who were true to Him, did not always prize His messages well enough to keep them
in their minds or to apply them to their lives.
Their ingratitude left its print upon Him.

Men returned unto Him -- evil for good -- and for all His benevolence, they returned to Him, hate.
Listen to the hurt in the question Jesus asked after he had healed ten lepers,
and only one returned to thank Him: ``Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?"
Surely, they could have said, "Thank you!"
It was the least they could do, in return for being delivered from such a deadly disease.

Surely, when our Lord looked upon the handful of His followers,
He must have asked, ``Where are all those I have helped?"
``Where are the nine?"

From that thankless generation, Jesus received no love for all that He did for others.
Here and there, a grateful woman ministered to Him of her substance.
Now and then, a thankful soul became one of His disciples.
But for the most part there was no response to His love.
From the multitude, He received shouts of murderous hate, demanding that He be crucified.

The longer Jesus lived, the more He suffered the ingratitude of mankind. He gave Himself that He might seek and save the lost.
No mother ever loved her baby, as much as Jesus loved His own people.
Yet, those people sought to take His life.

What ingratitude!
What a contrast!

Jesus loves and man hates.
He dies for sinners, and sinners insult Him in His agony.

Look again at the ingratitude of those who were nearest to Him.

Even those who were His close companions were ungrateful.
What would you think of that disciple who complained that His Lord had been undaunted
by a loving woman's hand for His burial?
That disciple complained that it was a waste.
You would think that those close to Him would have been delighted in every honor shown to Him.

At any rate, when it came to Christ's dying struggle -- wouldn't you have thought
that His close friends would have watched with Him for one hour?

Wouldn't you have thought that they would have at least guarded Gethsemane's gate?
And they, who were so close -- wouldn't you would have thought that they would have heard His groans,
and would have cared for Him, and stayed awake with concern for Him?
How could they sleep when Jesus was in such agony?

The case of Judas must have been particularly distressing to our Saviour's sensitive soul.
In Judas, treason reached its climax and ingratitude reached its pinnacle.
Judas was an apostle. Then Judas sold Jesus -- shame on you, Judas!
But Judas is not alone!
Others have followed his hideous example, and there may be some here today. "Lord, is it I?"

What about the rest of his disciples? Not one of them was there!

But they are not alone!
Many of us are doing the same thing today... "Lord, is I?"

All the disciples forsook Him and fled.
One attempted to follow Him from afar, but then he denied Jesus three times and with curses that he even knew Jesus.
The ones, to whom He had opened His inmost soul -- those who had eaten with Him that last solemn meal
before His suffering, all sought their own safety and left Jesus to His dreadful fate.

This is unbelievable ingratitude!
What could be worse than the ingratitude of your closest friends and brethren?
Ingratitude stained them all.

Before we think so severely of them, we must not forget ourselves -- for we, too, deserve the same condemnation.
We, also, have been ungrateful to our Lord.
As I turn this over in my mind, it deeply affects me.
And I feel powerless to present it so that you and I might also see ingratitude as it exists in our life.

None of this will occur unless the Holy Spirit comes and melts our hearts.
I would not want to be called, untruthful, but even more, I would not want to be called, ungrateful.
Can any accusation be more dishonoring?

Ingratitude is a despicable sin!

In olden days, a soldier was rescued from a shipwreck, and a very kind farmer took him into his home,
and treated him with great hospitality and kindness.
Then later, this soldier went before the ruler, Philip of Macedon, to ask that this farmer's house
and land be given to him.

Philip, knowing all that had happened, responded in righteous anger against that ungrateful soldier.
He commanded that the soldier's forehead be branded with the words,
" The ungrateful guest."

Suppose all of us who are ungrateful should have branded on our foreheads, "The ungrateful."

I believe that every sin we commit has in it a seed of ingratitude.
Since our Saviour has suffered because of our sins, we are ungrateful when we wander and blunder into sin.

Christians are especially ungrateful to the Lord Jesus when they allow any rival thing or person
to set up residence in their hearts.
Jesus, "the altogether lovely," deserves to be admired and adored by our souls -- not only
beyond all others, but to the exclusion of all others.
If our hearts could contain ten thousand thanks more than they can now, the Lord Jesus would deserve all of them.

After the bleeding and dying for our sins, Jesus should have a monopoly on all our love.
We must confess that loved ones and friends will steal our hearts away from our Lord.
Ambition for position and power, love of pleasure, desire to please, and joy in wealth will invade,
conquer, and control our allegiance.

It is despicable ingratitude that causes us to set up others in the temple of our hearts
where the Crucified One alone should reign.

Do I speak to one single child of God who would be honest and cry out, "I am guilty!" How often might we be charged with ingratitude when we lose large measures of the grace,
which we have already received. There are times when we love the Lord with all our hearts, when our faith is strong with great assurance,
and all our grace is bright and strong.
But, we come down from that mountain
Almost immediately, our feet slide from that glorious elevation.

The Holy Spirit admits us into the nearness of the heavenly Father, and then, we act inconsistently
and lose our fellowship with God.
We start following afar off.
Many, here today, could be in this position.

We have the sweet flavor of divine love in our mouths, and yet, we desert the banquet table of the Lord.
This is gross ingratitude!
This is a definite slap at the precious gifts of God's grace. Have we not grievously provoked Him?
Can any of us plead innocent? We listen to the death of Christ upon the cross as coldly as we read last week's headlines,
which no longer concern us.
Our hearts are as hard as stone! Why?
How can this be?
This is a horrible ingratitude!
Our love to Jesus -- is it love at all?

The same humiliation falls upon us when we meditate upon the stewardship of our substance to the Lord's cause.
What a small proportion, most of us give to His work?
If we were to take how much God allowed us to earn through the year, and then how much we keep for ourselves,
and how little we have given to the Lord's work, we would then understand what the word ingratitude means.

It would be unbelievable how many enjoy all the benefits and blessings of God's church,
and never give anything to maintain its ministry.
This should shame us!
This is ingratitude!

Thank God -- there are those who delight to honor the Lord with their tithes and offerings.
There are those who do the most, and who are the first to feel they do far too little.

What should we do with all this? If we have been ungrateful up to now, may we not be ungrateful any longer.

Let us cry, "Forgive me, Lord!"
Then let us devote ourselves entirely to Him.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
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