Summary: Everyone's life is lived with an arc. Jesus and the salvation He gives is the spark that changes the direction of that arc. Ten lepers were healed. The one that returned to thank Jesus had his life transformed!
Cornerstone Church 2.9.14
“The One Who Didn’t Get Away!”
“One evening some friends took Dr. Joseph Stowell [then President of Moody] and his wife Martie to a restaurant noted for its big, thick, juicy steaks. As the waiter was describing the extensive selection of steaks, my eyes followed my stomach to the twenty-two-ounce offering. Since all steaks cost the same, I knew it was my chance to prove my manly capacity. Not wanting to glance toward Martie lest she curb my savage instincts, I boldly ordered the ‘big one’! But I could only get two-thirds of the way through it. I asked our server to wrap up the rest so I could take it home.
While the rest of the party went to the restrooms, I waited outside. I noticed a homeless man approaching me with a copy of the ‘Streetwise paper’. The homeless in Chicago who are trying to rehabilitate themselves sell these small newspapers for a dollar. I didn’t have a dollar. My smallest bill was a five-dollar bill, and as the man approached, I was determined not to part with that much money. I turned him down flat, and he kindly said, ‘God bless you, brother,’ and moved on.
At that moment I was convicted by the thought that I could indulge my appetite with a massive steak but couldn’t muster spiritual decency to meet this homeless man’s needs. So I called him back and said that I wanted to give him my five-dollar bill in the Name of Jesus who had given so much to save me.
The man didn’t miss a beat. No sooner had he taken the bill than he said, ‘Do you need what’s in the bag, too?’
That was the last straw. I informed him that I had plans for the leftovers. He thanked me and disappeared around the corner. My sense of conviction only grew worse. How could I have so much and be so begrudging to one who had so little? As Martie and our friends emerged from the restaurant, they watched me disappear around the corner, yelling, ‘Sir! Sir! Wait a minute! You can have the steak. Really! I want you to have it.’ They thought I had lost my mind until I shamefully explained.
Dr. Joseph Stowell, LOVING CHRIST, pgs 174-175
This story reminds each of us just how easy it is to pass by the multitude of outcasts in our community.
* When we do see them we look at them as if they were invisible!
* How often do our thoughts turn towards caring, or doing something, for these individuals?
* If the truth were known most of us would not want our thoughts published!
WE MIGHT BE THINKING TO OURSELVES:
* Why doesn’t the bum get a job?
* They are probably getting what they deserve for their life of sin!
* I sure am glad I’m so righteous that the Lord can bless me!
We need to remember Jesus Christ came to die for all people.
John 3:16-17 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
His love and care includes the outcasts, forgotten and invisible of society.
* Does it shock you that He cares as much for them as He cares for you?
* Why does the gospel evade many of these people?
The outcasts and sinners of our society all know how to read the large invisible sign that is hung over every entrance of many churches:
“Perfect People Only.
The Broken Need not Apply.”
The point is without The Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are all outcasts!
If the story that Dr. Joseph Stowell told makes us feel uncomfortable because it hits home, then the account of Jesus ministry to the Ten Lepers will make us squirm a bit!
JESUS IS ON THE WAY TO JERUSALEM
Luke 17:11 ESV
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along
between Samaria and Galilee.
The first mention of Jesus’ final trip to Jerusalem is found a few chapters earlier in Luke 9:51.
Luke 9:51 NIV As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
Jesus is resolute to fulfill His Purpose and Plan:
* He must suffer
* He must be rejected
* He must give His life as an offering to satisfy God’s Wrath, Justice and Holiness
Luke 17:25 NIV But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
Luke 9:22 NIV And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”