Summary: Consider the ten lepers Jesus healed. What can we learn from them? How can we act like the one who returned? Parts: A. With our pleas for mercy. B. With our public thanks.

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Text: Luke 17:11-19

Theme: Faith Glorifies Our Merciful Lord

A. With our pleas for mercy

B. With our public thanks

Season: Pentecost 21c

Date: October 17, 2010

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit brings us to praise our Savior is Luke 17.

"And it happened that in traveling to Jerusalem he was going between the borders of Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a town, ten lepers, who stood far off, greeted him, and they raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."

"Taking notice, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And it happed that as they went they were healed.

"One of them, seeing that he was healed, returned glorifying God with a loud voice and fell on his face at his feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan.

"Jesus responded and said, "Were not ten healed? Where are the other nine? Were none found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?" He said to him, "Get up and go. Your faith has saved you."(Luke 17:11-19")

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

Psalm 50:15. "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me" (Psalm 50:15 NIV). That’s one of the core passages that I want the Catechism students to memorize each year. Maybe you still remember it from your confirmation days. The King James translated it: "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50:15 KJV).

That passage summarizes what we see happening in the text today. The lepers call on Jesus in their day of trouble. He delivers them. And one of them glorifies and honors him. For you see, dear fellow believer in Christ, faith glorifies our merciful Lord. May the Holy Spirit strengthen your faith today to glorify your merciful Lord. For you see, like those lepers, we glorify him with our pleas for mercy. And like that one Samaritan, we glorify him with our public thanks. Faith glories our merciful Lord.

A. With our pleas for mercy

1. What does the lepers’ plea for mercy show about their faith?

How horrible leprosy was! Parts of the body decayed away even as the victim lived on. But leprosy also destroyed a person socially. To keep it from infecting others, lepers could no longer live with their families or visit their friends. Cut off from others, even Jewish and Samaritan lepers would set aside their national differences just to have each others company. They lived exiled in their own colonies, not allowed to come close to the healthy. That’s why they stand far off when they call out to Jesus. There was no cure for the disease, only a lingering, hopeless existence as an outcast.

But here comes Jesus. Could he help? They cry out, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" (Luke 17:13 NIV). ἐλέησον (Eleison)! Have mercy!

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