Summary: It not about getting the blessing its what you do on the rest of your journey. www.preaching.co.nr
Jesus had been ministering in Perea. He then returned to Bethany, about 1.5 miles from Jerusalem, to raise Lazarus. After raising Lazarus, He and His disciples went north away from Jerusalem. In Luke 17:11 we find that Jesus and His disciples had gone as far north as Samaria and Galilee. While returning to Jerusalem, the encounter with the ten lepers took place.
Commentators say circumstances meant Jesus took an alternative route to Jerusalem.
Maybe it was due to the unreceptiveness of people in Samaria towards Jesus. Samaria was the normal, direct, and easy route a traveller would take to get to Jerusalem.
Maybe it was due to God’s timing as Jesus was on his way to the cross.
Maybe it was God plan that these desperate men encounter Jesus and his mercy.
What we do know today is that God is everywhere. We know whenever we gather in His name He is there; we know He promises He will never leave us or let us down. (Matt 18:20; Heb 13:5)
However, we also know that Jesus is restricted in doing His stuff when there is unreceptiveness. (Mark 6:5) A receptive heart, church or atmosphere is an open door to Jesus’ involvement.
Paul encourages the Corinthian christians to open wide their hearts that the power of God’s message might impact their lives. (2 Cor 6:13)
If we will offer an invitation Jesus will come. If we will open closed doors He will come in.
I know you would never slam the door in Jesus’ face if He came knocking. I know God’s people don’t want to have closed doors to God in their lives.
Often our unreceptiveness to Jesus is not about Him, it’s about how He does things.
However hard the Church tries WE Can’t Prescribe how Jesus should or shouldn’t operate.
However hard the Church tries We Can’t make Jesus Predictable. (John 6:14-15)
Jesus is not obliged to take the normal, usual, easy or direct route to do what He wants to do.
It’s God’s Way or No Way.
There is a spiritual battle in our lives and in God’s Church between God’s Way & My Way. I am sure you know the song made famous by Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way.” My way often means what I am comfortable with, what I familiar with, what I want, how I want it, when and where I want it.
So when God does things a different way a spiritual battle can occur. We can become unreceptive to God’s way of doing things, but unreceptiveness shuts the door in Jesus’ face.
Ten Men were standing on the outskirts of a village begging. They were not on the usual route to Jerusalem, but they had still heard about Jesus.
When they realised it was Jesus coming towards them hope, excitement, and expectancy arose in their hearts.
Sometimes the church can get so familiar with the familiar that they don’t get excited any more, just bored! If we are bored then church is boring.
We can become so familiar with the time of worship, the preaching, a quick drink and off home till next week when we do it all over again. That’s boring! It’s no wonder people stop coming to church.
To change the boredom may mean God has to change things. More importantly, to change the boredom in our own hearts we must keep watching out for Jesus and get excited and filled with hope and expectancy.
God may use me to change you or you to change me.
Ten Men were standing on the outskirts of a village, religiously/socially ostracized because of their leprosy.
They stood in the normal place for lepers.
Jesus has a heart for the disadvantaged, vulnerable and sinful so the place the lepers stand is where Jesus can be found.
Who is standing on the outside of our lives/church feeling they are unacceptable? Not good enough?
Do we need to change our approach to reach people?
The message of the Church is often all about what is wrong in the world and in peoples lives. Instead our message should offer hope, excitement and expectancy.
The Church is often drawn into talking about what we are against, such as Muslims, Homosexuals, Palestinians etc. I am not against them because they are people whom God loves passionately.
Recently thousands upon thousands of people lost their lives or were fighting for their lives under fallen buildings and some Christians came out with, ‘it’s because there is voodoo in Haiti. That is why the earthquake happened.’ What a stupid, uncompassionate statement to make!
Is it not better to talk about the exciting hope, life, joy, peace, fulfilment and satisfaction there is in being a follower of Jesus?