- Sermon Notes
ONE LEPER’S THANKFULNESS
October 24, 2021(PM)
This day, while Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He entered a certain village and 10 leprous men. You know He healed them all but only one of them came back to say thank you.
We’ve all heard of this disease, leprosy, but most of us know very little about it.
Not so in Jesus days. One of the most dreaded dis-eases of biblical times, incurable – no leper allowed to approach healthy people within 50 yards.
Leviticus 13 – had to wear torn clothing, cover their face, call out “unclean”…
Leviticus 13 also said as long as they have the infection they must live alone outside the camp – the result, most people lived in isolated leper colonies.
I. Jesus Heals The Outcasts
Get the picture here, they are screaming for help – not embarrassed, they believe Jesus can cure them. Here He is in their town. Not going to lose this opportunity by being timid.
• “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”
• There’s a lot going on in these few verses that is important for us to see.
• There was a provision in the book of Leviticus for what to do if a leper was healed of his leprosy. The problem was that no one had ever done it.
• There had never been a leper who came to the priest because he was healed.
• They are to go to the priest and if the priest can collaborate the healing they can lift the quarantine so they can rejoin normal Jewish society.
• Now, there would be 10 lepers coming to the priests at one time! This was a testimony to Israel that the Messiah had come at the appointed time.
• Leprosy is also a picture of sin and this story is a picture of our being healed as well.
When Jesus tells these 10 lepers to go, present yourself to the priests – what He was really promising was that He was going to heal them – He said by the time you get there you will have something to show them – a promise was being given to them right there in their diseased state.
A. Biblical faith is often counterintuitive
This is how true biblical faith works…
• God makes a promise.
• God asks us to believe His promise and act on it like the Lepers did.
• God keeps His promise.
• Same with Abraham, God asked him to leave his homeland.
• Ruth, when she stuck with her MIL Naomi.
• Jesus asked the lepers to do something based on His promise before He actually fulfilled the promise – they believed God first.
All these people stepped out in faith first and then, God kept His word and did great and mighty things for each one of them.
You and I are often trying to reverse this order – it’s counterintuitive to some of us – we say, God show me and I’ll believe and God says no, sorry that’s not the deal – you believe and then I’ll show you.
2 Corinthians 5:7, for we walk by faith, not by sight…
If you are a follower in Christ today, and God is asking you to walk by faith in some area of your life – God is asking you to step out on His promis-es before He ever keeps them – don’t be afraid, do it just like the lepers did it.
God reserved His deepest blessing for people who walk by faith and believe Him first.
B. A thankful heart is a right heart
This man was a Samaritan on his way to see the priest, and he went back to see Jesus and said thank you. The priest can wait.
• When only one came back to give thanks, Jesus said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine – where are they?”
• A thankful heart is the right response to all that God has done for us. It’s an important part of our faith, it’s an important part of having a right heart.
The question Jesus asked in v17; where are the other 9? It’s a rhetorical question – Jesus didn’t ask the question to get an answer, but He wants to make a point.
Way to often, people fail to thank God for the kind and merciful things He does for us – Don’t be like the one leper with thankfulness.
II. God’s Mercy Is Abundant
Are we not similar to the 9 lepers in our lives sometimes? Three areas I think this is true.
1. When it comes to God – we pray, please get me out of this mess – and then He does it – then He doesn’t hear from us again until we need some-thing else – we often don’t come back to say thank you –
Colossians 4:2, Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
In Luke 17, Jesus is irked from the ingratitude from these other nine lepers.
Why didn’t He just take their healing away?
Because our God is a good and merciful and kind God – regardless of our behavior. But that’s not an excuse for not thanking Him.
A. Never tire of being grateful
2. When it comes to our parents, we’re often like the 9 lepers.
The people who took care of us through the years. How many of us have ever gone back to express to our parents the proper level of gratitude and respect they deserve for what they did for us.
3. When it comes to other people who have done things for us that greatly impacted our lives…how many of us have gone back to them and thanked them for the great impact they made on our life?
Illustration – 5 most influential men in my life
Jesus’ point in Luke 17 is that all of us are prone to be like the 9 lepers. All of us are prone to be ungrateful – it’s part of our sinful human nature – but that doesn’t make it right.
In fact – Bible notes over 100x, God commands you and me to give thanks, to express our gratitude, both to Him and others.
Psalm 100:4, Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
Colossians 2:6-7, Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were in-structed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Ephesians 5:20, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;
Remember – Biblical thanksgiving, is an act of our will, it is not a feeling, God never commands us in the Bible to “feel” about anything – but 100x to give thanks – because biblical thanksgiving is a de-liberate act of our will. What’s this mean?
B. Thankfulness honors and glorifies God
We can give thanks for things that we may not feel thankful for!
My question is why is this so important that He tells me 100x to give thanks, and that He ques-tioned what happened to the other 9 lepers!?
3 reasons why…
1. True thanksgiving honors God, it exalts God when we are outwardly grateful about the things that come our way in life.
2 Corinthians 4:15, For all things are for your sakes, so that grace, having spread to more and more people, will cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
You may ask, how can my public thanksgiving give glory to Him?
When we are publicly grateful to God for all things, this is a public recognition that there is a good and kind and merciful and gracious God running the world.
2. It brings the peace of God to our lives when we are truly thankful for every circumstance we are in.
Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about any-thing, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which sur-passes all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s mercy runs through every single circumstance in our lives – the good, the bad and the ugly.
If we simply look for it and identify God’s mercy in our circumstances no matter how bad they look – then we focus on His mercy – When we thank God for His mercy, we unlock God’s supernatural peace in that circumstance. The bible says His peace surpasses understanding – we unlock it when we become grateful for every circumstance.
• Our minds race about all kinds of things – need to stop and say OK God, I need to start thinking about all the mercy you’ve shown me today or in my life and begin thanking you.
C. A true spirit of gratitude shields our sin
3. Why does God tell us to be thankful a hundred times; a true spirit of gratitude in our lives protects us from sin, self-destruction in life.
• Like Adam and Eve, had they been grateful for what they had in the Garden, they would not have eaten from that tree –
• If David was grateful for all the wives the Lord had already given him, he would not have committed adultery with Bathsheba –
• Lot, grateful for all his possessions, he wouldn’t have gone to Sodom and self-destructed his family
One of the greatest protections from sin and self-destruction in our lives is for us to be truly grateful for what the Lord has given us right now!
Philippians 4:11-13, Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with little, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
1 Timothy 6:6, But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
Does that mean it is wrong for me to work hard and try to improve my lot in life –
No, that’s absolutely fine….so long as we are so grateful for what God gives us along the way, that we are not willing to engage in biblical disobedience to try and get more.
Have a Biblical worldview –
1. God is in absolute control of every circum-stance, every detail of my life. Where do I learn this – in the Bible.
2. God loves me and knows what is absolutely best for me at all times. Where – in the Bible.
3. If anything were better for me, God would have already changed it for me. Where –
Therefore, I can thank God for every situation I am in with absolute assurance that I am right where I am supposed to be at this moment in time.
Just like a little child believes his mom and dad, a biblical worldview means we believe what God tells us in the Bible, without question, without hesitation
• What did Jesus say, we need to have faith like a little child – we believe the Bible because we believe in the author – God Himself.
A foundation for a grateful life that is richly blessed by God. Let’s just believe what God tells us and let’s be a thankful people – it will be a benefit to us and a glory and honor to the Lord Jesus.
Luke 17:11-19 NASB
11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [a]between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as He entered a village, ten men with leprosy who stood at a distance met Him; 13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. 15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 But Jesus responded and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? 18 [b]Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has [c]made you well.”