Summary: Jesus taught humility without using the word: The healing of the 10 lepers demonstrates true humility before God.
Master Over Hopelessness Luke 17: 11-19
We have been looking at Jesus’ teaching in Luke 17 and we’ll take a few minutes to review the Lessons of this chapter which lead into the healing of the ten lepers:
a. Luke 17:1-2: Don’t become ensnared (that’s what a stumbling block is, a snare.) What caught the Pharisees in a trap? Do-Good Religiosity. Pride in their works. This blinded them to the SAVING purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is salvation in no other name, even though He was rejected by the Jews. 1 Peter 2: 7: “But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, " 8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.”
b. verses 3-5 concerning forgiving others 7 times a day for the same offense. How can a person do that? Faith enables forgiveness: Pride is the enemy of forgiving others and BEING forgiven. The number “7” implies that we live with a continual attitude of forgiveness and THAT takes DIVINE GODLY faith. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5)
c. The disciples said: “Increase our faith! We can’t possibly forgive like this!” In Verse 6, “The Lord responds, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea '; and it would obey you.” Only supernatural faith forgives!
d. Last week we looked at The Parable of the Master and the Servant in verses 7-10: Faith serves our Master in humility for the Privilege NOT the Prestige. We have been forgiven all of our debt and sin and He alone is worthy of the Honor because He first wasTHE humble servant who SERVED US FIRST with His death on the Cross and so it is a privilege for the DOULOS (slave) to serve his KURIOS (for the servant to serve the Master.) 2 Timothy 2:21 teaches us to “be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” The Privilege of serving the Master.
The STORY and SIMPLE STATISTICS
Today we look at verses 11-19 ESV: 11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up 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 went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
The math is simple enough in this real life account given by Luke: ten lepers call out to Jesus while He is travelling through an area between Jerusalem and Samaria. All the lepers are healed on their way to show themselves to the priests; Nine continue on their way to the Priest so that they can get on with their lives, but only one returns, and he was a Samaritan. The Simple math or simple statistics are this: 10 were healed, 9 (probably Jews) and they went on with their lives but one who was a Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus.
Leprosy is a disease that lasts between 10 and 30 years and was terminal until 1982. It is so contagious, that it was able to almost exterminate an entire nation. The disease takes away all skin sensitivity to pain and injury, so that, injuries become far worse than they originally are because the person doesn’t detect any problem at first: the results are loss of skin, limbs, teeth, eyesight, and the disease penetrates tissue, muscle, bones and organs. The bacteria invades every part of the body. Leprosy was Debilitating and DEADLY, and contracting it was a sure long and painful death sentence.
Lepers were considered the lowest of the low: their disease was considered in many cultures to be a direct curse from God, and since it was a communicable disease, they were ostracized and lived only with those who were also accursed. They were believed to be cursed by God and rejected by society, being removed from their families when they needed them most, and excluded from their religious practices as well, and so lepers lived in misery and HOPELESSNESS. Leprosy Ravaged Relationships. The lepers were taking the precautions imposed by law to keep their distance from Jesus and others not infected!