10TH NOVEMBER 2021
A THANKFUL RECEIVER BEARS A PLENTIFUL HARVEST
Wisdom 6: 1‐11; Psalm 82: 3‐4, 6‐7; Luke 17: 11‐19
Today as Jesus continues His journey in the Gospel, ten lepers call out to Him and ask for His assistance. Knowing that they were not allowed to be where the “clean” or healthy people were, they keep their distance and hope that Jesus will do
something to remedy their plight.
Jesus calls back to these lepers, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." Notice He doesn't say, "You are healed." Instead, He tells them to behave as though they had already been cured. Well, you know what happened. Those guys looked down at their bodies and at each other. Nothing had changed A lesson about faith, if you wait until your problems are over to start walking in faith, you will miss the power of God in your circumstances.
You cannot put conditions on a holy God. You cannot say, "Lord, as soon as there's enough money, I follow Your instructions about giving." You cannot pray, "Lord, if you'll just solve this issue in my family, I'll start going to church again." We don't put conditions on God! Instead, God calls us to trust Him before anything has changed.
Only one of the healed lepers returns to Jesus to say “thank you.” And this one was a Samaritan, a non‐Jew, in fact, one
considered worse than a heathen.
This pitiful band is limping their way to the priests in the obedience of faith in Christ's command. And the Bible reports, in one of those pregnant sentences, that as they went, they were healed. Their minds began calculating what this meant and it was too good to be true. "I can go home. I can see my parents, kiss my wife again, hold my daughter, look for work!" They were beside themselves! They raced off in the distance, tears streaming from their faces, tearing away the rags that once bandaged and concealed their diseased body.
But one man stopped dead in his tracks as the others ran ahead. Watch him as he runs back. Hear his shouts of praise to God. See Him fall at Jesus' feet. And let this moment prepare you to offer your own thanksgiving to God.
Here are a few things that will help you and me to offer thanksgiving and praise to God;
1. Track your blessings to their source
Jesus asked the obvious in v. 17. "Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine?" Common decency tells us that thanks should be expected when grace has been shown. But Jesus' questions point to something ugly in our hearts ‐ a tendency in us all to enjoy the gift without worshiping the Giver.
2. Let the measure of His mercy be the measure of your praise
When this leper returned, he was loud. Verse 15‐16 tells us that he returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. You could hear this guy coming. This is amplified praise. This is joy at the top of your lungs. This is, "I don't care who hears or what they think. I don't care if I'm the only one doing this: I am going to praise the Lord!" He had spent years shouting in desperation; now he shouted in appreciation.
3. See the place gratitude has in saving faith
There are two words to describe what happened to all ten lepers. In v. 15, we find the word healed, which comes from a word used medically in Jesus' day to mean "mended, whole, or cured." Another medical term comes in v. 17: cleansed. It too emphasizes wellness, but is a social dimension as well. It meant they were free from the stigma or defilement brought
on by the leprosy; ceremonially clean; totally cured.
But there is one more word that Jesus says exclusively to this very thankful man. "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well." Made you well is a very different word from the others. It's not a medical word, necessarily, although it was used to describe the safe delivery of a baby
This was the word Jesus uses for this man who took Him at His Word and connected the Healer to the healing, the Rescuer to the rescue, the Saviour to the salvation. As he falls on his face at our Lord's feet, Jesus sees something more in his heart. You see, gratitude is a part of worship, and worship is the essence of saving faith. When the former leper met Christ, he was gripped by two fatal conditions ‐ one of the body with leprosy, one of the soul with sin. Now he was well in a way that surpassed all his expectations. Let all who have been made well by Jesus be so glad!