Summary: A Christian is someone who balances his life of asking and receiving blessings from God, with worshiping and thanking God.
Luke 17:11-19: The Balanced Christian Life
It’s hard to find balance in our lives, isn’t it? Spending time at work versus spending time at home. How do you balance that? What is the proper amount of time to spend at work, or spend at home? We struggle to find balance in our lives. Or how about when you are at home – there is a struggle for balance there too, isn’t there?. Spending time enjoying yourself, relaxing, building relationships with family members, or spending time doing chores – fixing this, cleaning that. Both are necessary. And we struggle for balance.
It’s hard to maintain balance. Most of the time, we’re probably tipped too far one way or the other – either we work too much, or not enough. Either we’re too busy doing chores at home, or we neglect them too much. It’s easy to develop bad habits and live an unbalanced life.
What about in your spiritual life? Do you have a balanced relationship with God? Or, have you unknowingly picked up some bad habits – going too far one way, or too far the other, in your relationship with God. For many Christians, a lack of balance is a problem. Today, as we focus on God’s Word, we will see what it means to lead a balanced spiritual life as a Christian. We will find motivation and comfort and direction as we seek to glorify God with our lives. May God bless each one of us this day, as we ponder his holy Word.
Jesus meets some unbalanced people today. He’s traveling to Jerusalem, along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy met him. Do you remember how bad the disease of leprosy was? Back in Jesus’ day, it was an incurable disease, and it was very easy to catch from someone else. I don’t want to groce you out with the details, but basically, you would wake up one day and find blotches on your skin. You’d feel funny. You have the beginnings of leprosy, where your body begins to decay and fall apart while you are still alive. You could describe it as a form of visible cancer. You have to leave your family, leave the town, and go out into the desert, and live in the caves with strangers who also have leprosy. Every time someone comes near you, you have to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” so that people know to stay away from you. It was a terrible disease, a long and lonely way to die.
Ten lepers, living out in the caves, saw Jesus as he approached the town. They stayed at a distance, because that’s what they were supposed to do, and they called out to Jesus: “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” They called him “master.” They must have heard that this Jesus had the power to heal. Some thought that maybe he was the Messiah. They had nothing to lose, so they asked for his help.
Is there anything wrong with what they did? Is this what you would have done, if you had leprosy? Imagine waking up one day, and you have blotches on your skin. You feel kind of strange. You get checked out, and you have leprosy. You have to leave your family, leave civilization, and go out and live in the caves. But you hear about a man named Jesus. You hear that he has healed people of all kinds of diseases. Maybe he’s the Messiah. If you were one of those ten lepers, would you have called out to Jesus, and asked for help? Of course.
And they weren’t disappointed. Look at what happens. Jesus called out to them, and said, “Go, show yourselves to the priest.” And as they went, they were cleansed. Jesus was able to take away their terminal illness, just by speaking a few simple words – “go show yourselves to the priest.” The priest doubled as a doctor – he would check you out, give you his stamp of approval if you really were healed, and allow you back into town.
What would you have done if you were one of those ten lepers? Wouldn’t you have gone, and done what Jesus said? Go, show yourself to the priest - isn’t that what Jesus wants you to do? Well, yes and no. Look at what happens next. One of them, when he saw he was healed, interrupted his trip to the priest, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Remember, in the Jewish culture, the Samaritans were the bad guys. You weren’t supposed to like the Samaritans, because they didn’t have it altogether spiritually. But this Samaritan did something his Jewish didn’t do. He came back, and thanked and worshiped Christ.